Rice stocks ready for delivery to Manila

March 21, 2020

RICE stocks are ready for delivery and disbursement in strategic areas in Metro Manila after the National Food Authority (NFA) has already completed their prepositioning.

In her report to Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar, NFA Administrator Judy Carol L. Dansal said that the agency has enough rice at hand to meet requirement of the National Capital Region for the next two weeks – with additional rice supply readily available depending on the demand.

The NFA currently has 400,000 bags (50 kilograms per bag) or 20,000 metric tons of rice in its warehouses around Metro Manila.

Based on NFA data, Metro Manila consumes an average of 110,000 bags (50 kilograms) of rice daily – with NFA’s market participation pegged at 7%, while the private sector (local and imported) and household inventories have the remaining 93% of the inventory.

Dansal said that they expect NFA’s market share to increase by 20% once the local government units (LGUs) started buying their rice requirement from government-owned warehouses due to the enhanced community quarantine imposed in Metro Manila.

“We are prioritizing local government units for the sale of NFA rice,” Dansal said, noting that they are now working on the payment scheme for interested LGUs.

Dansal added  that the LGUs can coordinate with any NFA warehouse servicing their respective jurisdictions.

“For CAMANAVA, they can go to North District Office, while Quezon City and Manila can buy from our Central District Office. Meanwhile, those from Marikina and Rizal can coordinate with the East District Office and South District Office for Taguig, Pasay, Makati, Paranaque, and Pateros,” she said.

Dansal added that they have also prepositioned 15,000 bags of rice to augment requirement of Cavite province.

Earlier, Dar ordered the  immediate crafting of an action plan on the food availability and supply, particularly staple food such as rice, as a preemptive intervention if in case the COVID-19 situation worsens.

With the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine, Dar ordered the strategic positioning of food supplies, including rice, as part of the proactive efforts to ensure food sufficiency for the 62.5 million population of Luzon.

On Friday, he reassured the public that there is enough supply of food for residents in Metro Manila and Luzon after the Philippine government restricted travel to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease.

He added that Luzon currently has an inventory of 166,945 MT of vegetable and root crops, enough to cover the weekly demand of 27,686 MT. Projected production of 433,495 MT is expected to augment supply after the 30-day quarantine period.

For poultry and meat, available supply was 269,259 MT and additional 75,391 MT projected production to cover the demand of 26,980 MT per week.

Weekly fish requirement in Luzon is 35, 49 MT while the supply is 52, 088 MT, with 445,215 MT additional production expected until June.

Meanwhile, weekly demand for eggs in Luzon is around  95.4 million pieces while supply is around 125.8 million. Weekly requirement for sugar is 21, 391 kilograms while the supply is 136, 920.