NFA 7 assures no rotten rice in CV warehouses

July 28, 2010 11:57 am 

CEBU CITY, July 28 – The National Food Authority (NFA) 7 has assured there are no rotten rice stocks in its warehouses in Central Visayas.

It also said the present rice inventory in Cebu includes rice intended for Region 8 and Mindanao.

Ma. Lucia Rosales, NFA 7 information officer, said the NFA imports rice, mostly from Vietnam, only if the NFA Council issues a resolution to this effect.

The council is composed of the Office of the President, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Land Bank of the Philippines, Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry and the NFA.

“The NFA Council is an inter-agency body and NFA is only a member of that council, which will decide to import,” she said.

Rosales made these clarifications a day after President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III delivered his State of the Nation Address.

He cited, among others, the “excessive” rice importation made by NFA that resulted to overstocking and rotting rice.

“We cannot contradict the statement of the President because it tackles the situation of the entire nation. What we are doing now is just to explain to the public the situation in our area of jurisdiction,” Rosales said.

She admitted there is overstocking at the NFA Cebu warehouses, but only because delivery to Region 8 was suspended due to bad weather.

Rosales said NFA’s mandate is to ensure food security and to respond with sufficient rice supply within 24 hours in times of need.

“We want to be sure we have enough rice not only until next week or next month but for several months, so our rice inventory at present is programmed to last until December of this year. By January 2011, the importation will ensure there will be enough stocks until June of that year,” she said.

For the last several years, except in 2008, the rice allocation for Central Visayas, which is composed of Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor and Negros Oriental, is three to four million bags. The same figure is allocated for Region 8, Rosales said.

For this year, the rice inventory in Cebu included the cities of Dipolog and Pagadian in Mindanao.

She said rice importation in 2008 was higher because of the price crisis in the global market. The importation was aimed to stabilize rice supply in the country, she said. (PNA)

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