By Philippine News Agency
LAOAG CITY — The once empty huge warehouse of the National Food Authority (NFA) here is now filled with sacks of rice imported from Thailand.
NFA Provincial Manager Eleanor Andres said Thursday an initial 250 bags of rice were unloaded at the Laoag warehouse on Wednesday. The shipment arrived on board a cargo vessel at the Poro Point in San Fernando, La Union.
A total of 280,000 bags of rice are expected to arrive for Region 1, according to Andres. Of this total, at least 32,000 bags have been allotted for Ilocos Norte and is expected to be distributed to different localities of the province until December this year.
“We hope to complete the delivery before a calamity strikes. By then, we will be ready for relief operations which will be prioritized in the NFA rice distribution,” said Andres.
She noted that the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in the cities of Batac and Laoag were the first to withdraw a part of the newly-delivered NFA rice.
Although there had been no rice shortage experienced in the province, Andres explained that grain prices in Ilocos region have been affected by the low supply nationwide.
This prompted the national government to import rice to replenish NFA’s rice buffer stocks.
On Thursday, the NFA met with accredited rice retailers in the province to discuss the rules and regulations pertaining to the selling of NFA rice.
“We would like to maintain the current price of rice, which ranges from PHP27 to PHP32 per kilogram,” Andres said.