Aquino: Assure stable food supply in Zambo-A A +A
By Bong Garcia
Friday, September 13, 2013
PRESIDENT Benigno Simeon Aquino III has ordered the concerned government agencies to ensure stable food supply here in Zamboanga Peninsula and in the three nearby provinces of the autonomous region amid the standoff in Zamboanga City.
This was announced Thursday by Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, who said Aquino's order to the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Transportation and Communications is to ensure continuous shipment of food supplies to this city starting Friday or Saturday.
Roxas said the President has also ordered the Department of Trade and Industry to conduct an inventory of warehouses in Zamboanga Peninsula and in the province of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi (Basulta) to determine what are the things needed.
Zamboanga Peninsula comprises the provinces of Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga Sibugay and the cities of Dapitan, Dipolog, Isabela, Pagadian and Zamboanga while Basulta are part of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm).
The President issued the order as the seaport and airport of Zamboanga City have been closed since Monday when hostilities broke out after hundreds of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels infiltrated this city.
The port and the Zamboanga International Airport serve as the major ports of entry of goods from and to Zamboanga Peninsula as well as in the Basulta areas.
Meanwhile, DA Secretary Proceso Alcala, in a phone patch conversation Thursday, said there is no shortage of food, especially rice, for the entire Zamboanga Peninsula and Basulta areas.
Alcala said the Basulta areas have a total of 38,000 sacks of 50 kilos rice stocks at present while Zamboanga City has 350,000 sacks of rice, which is more than enough to supply the needs of the public up to December this year.
The authorities did not give any time frame as to when would be the standoff ends that virtually paralyzes trade and commerce in this city.