By Genalyn Kabiling
Consumers can expect a reduction in the market price of rice with the expected arrival of additional supply, Malacañang said Thursday.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque assured the country will have adequate rice supply once 325,000 metric tons of rice is delivered to the country this month.
“Kapag dumating na 325,000 metric tons, sigurado naman na bababa ng presyo ng bigas kasi malaking volume ‘yan [Once the 325,000 metric tons of rice arrive, prices of rice will certainly go down due to this large volume],” Roque said during a Palace press briefing.
“Kahit anong klaseng rice siya kapag maraming supply, bumababa ang presyo. Law of supply and demand [Regardless of the kind of rice, the prices tend to go down when there’s huge supply. That’s the law of supply and demand], he added.
Meanwhile, the government is not inclined to activate the standby importation of 250,000 metric tons of rice with the expected arrival of 325,000 metric tons under the minimum access volume.
Citing information from Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr., chair of the National Food Authority Council, Roque said there would be “more than enough rice” to boost the NFA rice stocks for now.
“The reason why they have not actually resorted to importation is that, under the minimum access volume (MAV), we’re expecting 325,000 metric tons to arrive within the month so why should we import,” he said.
NFA Administrator Jason Aquino earlier admitted the state-run food agency was running low on rice stocks. The NFA even suspended distribution of rice to some retailers. The remaining stocks have reportedly been reserved for requirements in calamity-prone areas and other provinces.
Although the NFA stocks were dwindling, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol assured the entire country has enough rice supply. Piñol has blamed unscrupulous rice traders who are taking advantage of the NFA shortage to justify the price increase in the market and additional importation from Vietnam or Thailand.