From over a hundred retailers of government-subsidized rice in Palawan, the National Food Authority (NFA) said they now have only 10 accredited retailers, as most have shifted to selling imported rice.
Osmundo Guinto Jr., NFA Palawan provincial manager, said the significant decrease in the number of accredited rice retailers is the effect of the passage of Republic Act 11203 or the Rice Liberalization Act.
“Effect ‘yan ng RA 11203 and actually, nagmo-move on na kami dyan in a sense na matagal na namin ina-anticipate ‘yan na kapag binaha mo talaga ng imported rice ang market na magbabayad ka lang ng tariff ay puwede ka na mag-import. Talagang babagsak ang distribution,” he pointed out.
All the 10 accredited retailing outlets are from Puerto Princesa City.
Guinto also added that the removal of their mandate to license retailers is also a factor because they are no longer required to sell NFA rice.
“Malaki ang epekto kasi lumipat nga sila sa imported rice,” he said.