160,000 bags of imported rice for Negros Occidental

BACOLOD City – The National Food Authority (NFA) in Negros Occidental received an additional 160,000 bags of imported rice from Vietnam before the end of 2018.

Assistant provincial manager Marianita Gellecanao, who led the inspection of the stocks on board the vessel on Tuesday, said the unloading could start anytime today, Friday, following a 24-hour aeration.

She said the new buffer stocks, the third import allocation for Negros Occidental for 2018, arrived at the Bredco port here on December 29 via MV Tan BINH 79.

“The additional importation was approved by the NFA Council last year, and was supposed to be shipped by November. However, it arrived only in the later part of December,” Gellecanao said.

In 2018, the first import allocation of 80,000 bags arrived in July followed by 100,000 bags in November. Both stocks came from Thailand.

Gellecanao said without disturbance like bad weather, the unloading of the newly-arrived rice stocks may be completed in at least two weeks.

As of Thursday, the buffer stocks left in the NFA warehouses in the province amounted to about 50,000 bags, which are scheduled for distribution among the local retailers.

With the arrival of 160,000 bags, the total inventory of government rice in Negros Occidental is pegged at about 210,000 bags.

Selling price is PHP25 per kilogram for accredited rice retailers. These can be sold in the market at PHP27 per kilogram.

Gellecanao said that based on Negros Occidental’s average daily consumption requirement of 20,600 bags, the buffer stocks may last up to 80 days.

NFA’s participation in the total rice consumption requirement of the province is only 10 percent, she added.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol earlier said the Philippines will have enough rice supply this year.

Piñol, who also sits as the NFA Council chairman, said the NFA has established a stock inventory of 750,000-metric tons of imported rice in preparation for the lean months.

The volume will ensure an eight-month supply of government subsidized rice at 10 percent market participation, he added. (PNA)