The Philippines’ dry season is on its full swing while the rainy season looms prompting the Malacañang to calm the public’s fear of an impending rice shortage.
Earlier this week, Malacañang dismissed the claims that the National Food Authority (NFA) did not have enough stocks of rice, the country’s staple.
In a news report published on a popular news outlet, Malacañang admitted that the NFA was indeed low on stocks, but it claimed that the nationwide supply of rice was ample enough to sustain the country.
On its part, the NFA has published ‘proposed measures’ to maintain food security. Though NFA said food security pertains to the “availability, accessibility, and affordability of safe and nutritious food at all times”, it zeroed in on having adequate rice supply.
The agency suggested that during times of surplus, the government should establish a National Rice Reserve, that would serve as a grain storehouse, ready to be tapped in cases of shortage.
However, the NFA claimed having sa rice reserve would not ensure a bountiful supply of staple grains; it would also protect Filipino consumers from sudden changes in price range.
The proposed National Rice Reserves is supposed to have stocks for food security, for the marginalized sector, and for trade.
NFA said that the country presently consumes 32,013 metric tons of rice. This high demand for rice is met with an equally surging price. Local well- and regular-milled rice now costs around Php 26.00 per kilo, while imported rice costs around Php 32.00.
photo credits to PhilStar Global and Business World Online