THE central office of the National Food Authority (NFA) is exerting all efforts to keep its warehouse and office at the property of the Philippine National Railways in Barangay Marcoville.
"Our central office heads advised us to stay put and continue to operate at our PNR warehouse as they are negotiating with the owners of the property," NFA Benguet Provincial Manager Cecilia Concubierta said in a phone interview.
Earlier, the agency was issued a notice to vacate since the lot where the warehouse sits was sold to one the country’s biggest bus companies – Victory Liner.
NFA was renting around 600 square meters of property from the PNR lot in Marcoville.
The NFA office and warehouse is located next to the Victory Liner bus terminal.
The warehouse has over 850 metric tons of rice stocks.
"Hindi kami makapagdagdag ng stock kasi laging nakaparada ang mga bus dito sa aming parking," Concubierta lamented.
Concubierta added a risk of depleted rice inventory may be experienced in the coming months.
"Sana walang dumating na calamity kasi mauubos talaga ang aming rice inventory," she expounded.
More importantly, she said the NFA-Benguet has no place to relocate.
“We need a space as wide as the present office and warehouse is, also we need a parking space for trailers and 10-wheeler trucks to maneuver,” she added.
The Marcoville warehouse has a maximum capacity of 30,000 sacks of rice weighing 50 kilograms each and complimented by the Loakan warehouse with a maximum capacity of 80,000 sacks of rice.
Concubierta explained the province is considered a critical area when it comes to rice sufficiency during calamities with tendencies of landslide occurrences.
“We are even lagging on the required stock of 141,000 sacks of rice at any given time, what more if we lose this warehouse,” Concubierta lamented.
Concubierta said the NFA-Benguet has been renting the PNR property for almost 37 years and never lagged in its payments.
The contract of lease between NFA central and the PNR ended December 31, 2015, Concubierta said.