The Office of the Provincial Agriculture (OPA) said that rice production in Palawan is enough until the end of the year, and they are endorsing to the provincial board the lifting of the temporary ban on the exportation of rice.
Dr. Romeo Cabungcal, provincial agriculturist, told Palawan News on Wednesday they are expecting an oversupply of rice in the province because of the ongoing harvest season.
He said that rice production in the province would be able to secure the supply of the local demand.
“Mas maganda kung ma-lift at kung marami ang supply ng bigas. Pero ngayon kasi ay harvest season kaya magiging bastante ang supply natin hanggang December. Isa siguro ‘yon sa titingnan para i-lift kasi may sobra tayo,” he said.
He said that rice will be sold at a cheaper price if there is a surplus.
“Kapag marami kasi tayong surplus ay magiging mababa ang presyo ng bigas dito. Ang sinasabi kasi nila kung hindi malift ay baka mas lalong bumagsak ang presyo ng palay,” Cabungcal said.
During the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the provincial board through a resolution, banned the exportation of rice to ensure enough supply of the province during a pandemic.
Recently, Palawan’s rice farmers and millers also asked the provincial government to lift the ban on the exportation of locally-produced rice, claiming that the current harvest season will ensure sufficiency of stocks to meet local demands.
Board member Albert Rama said on Tuesday that they have received a request from the local traders and millers to lift the ban which was imposed at the height of the pandemic.
According to the consolidated data of the OPA from different municipal agriculturists, there are a total of 18,388 bags of local rice, 9,197 bags of imported rice, and 159,107 bags of available stocks from the towns of Aborlan, Narra, Sofronio Espanola, Quezon, Rizal, Brooke’s Point, Bataraza, Taytay, San Vicente, Dumaran and Araceli.
Rama said that traders and millers said that they have already harvested tons of rice.
“We declared a moratorium para ma-secure ang ating rice supply during that time at ngayon ay harvest season na ay nagre-request na sila na i-lift ito on the reason na marami na daw palay. Pag-uusapan namin ito kung magre-recommend kami for lifting,” Rama said during his privilege speech during the regular session recently.
Palawan has 116,194 hectares of total rice area coverage in 2019.