Palace allays fear over NFA rice shortage

  • Malacañang Palace assured the public there is enough rice supply in the country
  • The NFA earlier warned rice supply in some regions have ran out of stock
  • The country’s reserve were also nearly depleted due to recent calamities

MANILA, Philippines  –  The Malacañang Palace has assured the public there is no need to panic over the looming National Food Authority (NFA) rice shortage in the market amid reports supply in some regions across the country have nearly ran out.

The NFA earlier warned that rice supply in the markets of  Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and National Capital Region (NCR) are no longer available and the country’s reserve are almost depleted due to several calamities and typhoons over the past months.

But Senior Deputy Exec. Sec. Menardo Guevarra said there is no need to panic since the overall rice supply in the country remains sufficient.

“We all know na mababa na talaga ang stocks ng NFA [the shortage of NFA stocks], but the overall rice supply is more than sufficient with plenty to spare. No need to panic,” said Guevarra on Tuesday.

In a separate interview, Assistant Secretary Jonas George Soriano of the NFA Council, admitted they were also surprised by the rice shortage in the country; the very first ever to happen since 1972.

Soriano said he cannot understand why the Philippines, which is an agricultural country, had ran out of rice when NFA is only supplying a small portion of the market.

“Still, ang NFA rice can also be used as a buffer stock para sa kalamidad so dapat hindi talaga maubos ‘yan kasi ano gagamitin natin kapag emergency?” Soriano told reporters.

[Still, the NFA rice can also be used as a buffer stock for the calamity so it should not run out because we need them in cases of emergency.]

Soriano added he will pursue an independent audit on rice supply by the Commission on Audit (COA) not only for the past three months, but possibly since President Rodrigo Duterte took office.