COUNCILOR Marissa S. Abella, chair of the Davao City council committee on agriculture, has urged Cabinet Secretary Leoncio B. Evasco, Jr., also the National Food Authority (NFA) council chair, to immediately process rice importation as the local supply of NFA rice is running out.
In a resolution submitted to the city council last week, Ms. Abella said the local NFA rice stock as of last week was only 14,222 bags, which is good only until March 15. “In the succeeding months starting from the third week of March until June, NFA Davao City will have no more NFA rice to distribute to its accredited outlets,” said Ms. Abella. The NFA Davao office, on the other hand, said in a letter to the city council that “there is no rice shortage,” but pointed only to the availability of “commercial rice in the market” coming from other provinces. Ms. Abella said the city needs more NFA rice to ensure a buffer in case of a calamity, and “to ensure that Filipinos can buy more affordable rice that suits within their budget and prevent or avoid the increase of commercial rice prices.” — Carmelito Q. Francisco