NFA Council OKs rice imports to boost buffer stock
Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. on Tuesday said the National Food Authority (NFA) Council has ordered signing of the remaining import permits to reinforce the government's buffer stock.
Evasco confirmed to reporters in an interview in Malacañang that the NFA’s buffer stock can only last up to eight days more.
“Totoo iyan. That’s why the Council instructed the NFA management to sign the remaining import permits for all these rice to come in and to facilitate the incoming rice to get into our markets and to intensify buying. So, while waiting for these rice to come through the G2P mode of procurement, we will have convenient and comfortable supply of rice,” he said.
Evasco said the Council also told the NFA management was to purchase more from local farmers.
“Second resolution is for NFA to intensify buying local produce from our farmers if only to maintain a good buffer stock while awaiting the coming of more stocks from the importation of rice,” he said.
He said NFA Administrator Jason Aquino was present during the Council’s meeting on Monday.
No rice shortage
He also assured the public that there was no rice shortage in the country and the prices in the market would not spike.
“Wala naman… Some of the imported rice are still coming in and thirdly we are still towards the last lap of the harvest season,” he said.
Evasco said the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) required the NFA to maintain a rice buffer stock that would last for 15 days at any given time and 30 days at the onset of the lean months of July to September.
He said the daily consumption rate was 32,720 metric tons of 654,600 bags. —ALG, GMA News