LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – National Food Authority (NFA) – Pangasinan Office assured that Pangasinan will not suffer from rice shortage despite the havic wrought by consecutive typhoons that hit the province in the third quarter of the year.
This was pointed out by Erlinda Cardenas, NFA-Eastern Pangasinan Provincial Economist, during the question hour conducted by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan on September 24.
Cardenas also guaranteed that with the current stock inventory of 21,243 bags of rice and the additional 100,000 bags coming from the NFA-Regional Office this October, NFA-Pangasinan can still augment the demand of rice in the province.
“Our accredited retailers are allowed to withdraw 480 bags weekly from our designated warehouses and as of this time we are giving 35 bags per outlet which is totaling to 67,200 bags monthly,” Cardenas explained.
Cardenas also stressed that out of their target 95,000 bags of rice to be dispatched this September, 57,980 bags of which have been already sold while the remaining volume will cover other calamities and for emergency purposes.
Sixth district board member Salvador S. Perez, Jr. also urged the NFA to find resolution to continuous price hike of NFA rice to help the calamity-stricken families, especially in depressed barangays, in the province.
Cardenas, on the other hand, reassured that suggested retail price of 30 pesos per kilo for typical customers while 27 pesos per kilo for indigenous people in depressed barangays and in resettlement area will be strictly monitored and also to avoid hoarding in big warehouses affiliated with the NFA.
Meanwhile, Assistant Provincial Agriculturist Nestor D. Batalla stressed that despite the consecutive weather disturbance that devastated 46,000 hectares, which represents only 37% of the total planted area of rice in the province, rice shortage in the Pangasinan will not happen.
“There is a chance na bababa po ang ating ani sa bigas pero hindi po tayo magkukulang ng bigas sa Pangasinan dahil mayroon po tayong 208% sufficiency rate dito sa ating lalawigan,” Batalla added noting that Pangasinan rice harvest is abundant enough to accommodate its people.
Commenting on this matter, second district board member Nestor Reyes asked Cardenas if NFA can purchase the harvest of local farmers, specifically in Pangasinan to cover the demand and consumption of rice in the province.
Cardenas noted that farmers, however, choose to sell their harvest to other private traders for a much higher selling price from 17 pesos price in NFA to 25-27 pesos in private traders.
On the part of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Marjorie Loresco of DTI-Pangasinan said that a regular monitoring is conducted on basic commodities.
Accordingly, Loresco disclosed that 42 manufacturers have already committed not to increase prices of basic commodities until the end of 2018.
Also present during the question hour were: Pangasinan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer (PDRRMO) Col. Rhodyn Luchinvar Oro, Provincial Engineer Antonietta Delos Santos, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer (PSWDO) Emilio Samson, Jr., and Provincial Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Officer (PHUDCO) Engr. Alvin L. Bigay.
By: Shiella Mae C. De Guzman