Twenty thousand bags of imported rice from the National Food Authority (NFA) arrived at the port of Coron on August 28.
Ma. Lewina Tolentino, NFA provincial manager said the rice will be distributed to the four island municipalities in the Calamianes group of islands.
Tolentino said Wednesday that they are part of the 40,000 rice bags intended for the area.
The rice supply was shipped to Coron port from NFA Batangas for the island towns of Busuanga, Coron, Culion, and Linapacan, she said.
She said the remaining 20,000 rice bags for the Calamianes area have already been approved and will arrive within the year.
Tolentino said they will supply municipal retailers with 40 rice bags in consideration of their capitals and storage spaces.
“Kasi malalayo ang mga isla doon, nakakaawa naman na sa konting bigas ay malayo ang pagdaraanan nila. Puro mga isla ‘yong nandoon kaya naiintindihan naman namin ‘yong sitwasyon pero pwedeng tumaas ‘yon depende sa pangangailangan,” Tolentino said.
The volume of sacks to be distributed to accredited retailing outlets in every municipality will depend on the area and the capacity of retailers to buy sacks of rice from NFA, he said.
“So kung anong naandyan na NFA stocks namin, talagang ina-allocate namin siya hanggang dumating ‘yong next shipment. Pero ‘yan, ibibigay namin sa kanila,” she pointed out.
She said NFA well-milled rice is now sold at P32 per kilo in every accredited retailing outlet of the agency.
In Puerto Princesa, Tolentino said the next shipment of another 20,000 sacks of imported rice is expected to arrive on the second or third week of the month of September.
Tolentino also said they have set aside 6,000 bags of rice as “buffer stock” for emergency situations.
Meanwhile, Tolentino said rice producing towns will start harvesting their crops on the last week of September, an assurance that supply will stabilize.
“Kapag ganon na ang mangyayari, marami na tayong bigas sa palengke. Andyan pa rin ang NFA, hindi mawawala,” she added.