NFA: Enough rice supply in Bicol

LEGAZPI CITY – The National Food Authority (NFA) in Bicol said it has sufficient supply of rice to sustain the staple food requirement needed under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Henry Tristeza, NFA regional director, said on Tuesday, Apr. 21 that there are 516,000 bags of palay (unhusked rice) in various warehouses across the region.

He said once milled, the 516,000 bags are equivalent to 325,000 sacks of milled rice, and these would add up to the 8,055 bags now in stock in NFA warehouses for distribution.

“The 333,055 bags of rice would serve as additional buffer stocks to maintain the 15-day supply requirements under the agency guidelines,” he said.

Tristeza added that the rice supply would address the pending rice requirement needed by various local government units and other front line agencies involved in the fight against the spread of Covid-19.

To date, the the NFA has a request for 493,000 bags of rice from various local government units (LGU) and of that number, the agency has released 224,000 bags of the grain staple to the requesting entities.

The heavy demand would be addressed once the 160,000 bags of rice arrive from Mindoro province.

“Initially, we expect the first batch of shipment of 20,000 bags to arrive next week,” Tristeza said.

He admitted that the milling preparation has slowed down due to the strict enforcement of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

“Private milling firms were closed while some of them can only operate for four hours instead of the 10 to 12 hours normal operations due to the ECQ,” he said. (PNA)