CLARK FREEPORT -- The National Food Authority (NFA) Pampanga Branch has intensified its palay (unhusked rice) procurement.
Dr. Rafael Marasigan, manager of NFA Pampanga, disclosed this during a media forum yesterday dubbed Talk Widus sponsored by the Pampanga Press Club and the Widus Hotel and Casino.
“Yung pong stock nating palay, lahat giniling na natin nitong April about 200,000 bags. Kaya ngayon po ay dini-distribute natin sa Pampanga and some parts of Region 3 ay mga local rice po yan at para magkaroon tayo ng espasyo para sa pamimili ng palay,” Marasigan said.
NFA has two mandates -- one is food security and the second one is price stabilization, according to Marasigan.
“In terms of food security, the NFA is mandated to maintain buffer stock of rice for at least 15 days. And pagpatak po ng July yung 15 na days na buffer stock ay dapat maging 30 days until December,” Marasigan said.
“So pagpatak po ng July, we are assuring the public that NFA has 30-day buffer stock kasi pagpatak ng July ito na yung simula ng bagyo, baha, kalamidad et cetera,” he added.
On price stabilization, the NFA is working hard by injecting rice inside and outside public markets, Marasigan said.
“Doon po sa pagbebenta ng bigas sa ating mahal na consumer, mayroon po kaming tinatawag na mga accredited-outlets. Mayroon po kaming ITM o inside the market, OTM outside the market, bigasan sa parokya, bigasan sa barangay, at barangay food terminal,” the NFA official said.
The agency conducts prior ocular inspection on the location of NFA stores to determine if they are accessible and suitable, he added.
“Yun po kasi ang tinitignan ng NFA to accredit outlets, yung accesiblity para madaling puntahan ng mga consumer natin. Para ma-siguro yung price naming ay mayroon kaming price monitoring team in all municipalities,” Marasigan said.
NFA rice at present has three prices – P25, P27 and P32 per kilo, he added.
“Pero yung stock po naming pang P32 hindi pa dumarating kung kanya available sa NFA ay P27 per kilo,” Marasigan said.
In Pampanga, there are about 200 accredited NFA rice outlets. But Marasigan said that their active resellers are only 100 plus.