RETAILERS of the National Food
Authority (NFA) will continue to sell rice to the public at P27 per kilo until
August this year.
Chona Maramba, NFA assistant branch manager in Western Pangasinan, told the KBP Forum last Thursday that her office is distributing rice stock to retailers to be sold at P27 per kilo.
She said there are still 117,000 bags of imported rice in seven NFA warehouses, three of which are located in Lingayen, two in Mangatarem, and one each in Mangaldan and Alaminos City.
The stock, she said, will be boosted by another 500,000 bags imported from Vietnam, Myanmar and Pakistan, some of which are now being unloaded at Poro Point in La Union.
At the same time, she said NFA continues to buy palay from farmers at more than P20 per kilo, slightly higher than the buying price being offered by traders because of the incentives given to farmers, their cooperatives and associations.
Maramba pointed out that while the newly passed Rice Tarification Law that liberalizes importation and exportation of rice has removed NFA’s regulatory function on importation, NFA still has the mandate to buy palay from local farmers.
Meanwhile. Leni Flores, president of Abono party-list said her organization will continue to monitor importation to safeguard against over-importation to protect the interest of local farmers.
She said Abono has filed the bill that penalizes anyone caught over-importing rice and other agricultural commodities. (Leonardo Micua).
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