The National Food Authority (NFA) sees a higher distribution of government rice in Negros Occidental, with the lower selling price for accredited retailers of only PHP23 per kilogram.
Provincial Manager Frisco Canoy said the new price, lower by PHP2 than the previous PHP25 per kilogram, took effect on October 29.
The current price of a 50-kilo bag is only PHP1,150 from the previous PHP1,250. “It’s cheaper yet quality rice. With the new selling price, the distribution might go faster,” Canoy said on Wednesday.
However, the buying price remains at PHP27 per kilogram since the adjusted price applies only to retailers.
The latest inventory showed that NFA-Negros Occidental still has some 7,000 bags of imported rice from Myanmar up for distribution, including 5,000 bags as the province’s remaining buffer stocks and 2,000 bags additional stocks from Iloilo.
Canoy said Negros Occidental, which was supposed to conclude rice distribution in August, might obtain more stocks from the Panay provinces to help dispose of all existing imported rice stocks in Western Visayas.
In Negros Occidental, lesser volume of NFA rice has been purchased by retailers at the previous price of PHP25 per kilogram.
Canoy noted that some accredited retailers have even stopped selling NFA rice probably because imported commercial rice is available at competitive prices.
“They might be encouraged to increase the purchase volume, with an expected mark-up of PHP4 per kilogram or PHP200 per bag. We hope to fully distribute our remaining import allocation stocks soon,” he added.
In February this year, Republic Act 11203 or the Rice Import and Export Liberalization Law was enacted to lift import restrictions on rice to make the price of the staple commodity affordable for all.
Starting March 5 this year, the new law removed the regulatory functions of the NFA over international and domestic trading of rice, and its provincial offices can no longer act on licensing and registration of persons and entities engaged in the grains business, and collection of regulatory fees.
The NFA is now focused on buffer stocking mainly for emergencies and calamities. (PNA)