THE arrival of rice allocation for the province is delayed mainly due to loading problems, the top official of the National Food Authority (NFA) in Negros Occidental said yesterday, June 11.
Frisco Canoy, provincial manager of NFA-Negros Occidental, said bad weather occurring in source-countries have been causing problems in the loading of rice importation to the Philippines.
Tentatively, an initial allocation of 80,000 bags for Negros Occidental is expected to arrive by June 10. This is 10 days after the scheduled start of loading on May 30 based on the notice issued by NFA Central Office.
Canoy said there were already arrivals in ports of Subic and Surigao, but for the province, they are waiting for the final advice from the national government particularly on the new schedule.
“It was just delayed, our allocation will still be the same in terms of volume,” he told SunStar Bacolod, adding that Negros Occidental remains a disport, or discharge port, areas in the country.
Being a disport area, the vessel will now directly unload rice imports to the province unlike of the previous years when it has to come whether from Iloilo and Cebu.
Other disport areas in the Visayas for the impending arrival of imported rice from Vietnam include Iloilo for Western Visayas, Cebu for Central Visayas, and Tacloban, Leyte for Eastern Visayas.
Canoy earlier said that NFA-Negros Occidental can then start the distribution to accredited local NFA rice retailers as soon as stocks are already unloaded to the warehouses.
There are four warehouses in the province such as those in San Carlos City, Ilog town, and NFA-Negros Occidental Compound, and Bredco Port both in Bacolod City.
“All these storage facilities, which have been empty for quite some time, are ready to cater to new buffer stocks,” he said.
Amid the looming lean period, the provincial manager pointed out that the initial allocation would not be enough.
Thus, the province may have an additional buffer of 80,000 bags for the second tranche possibly in July, yet subject to final approval of the agency.