A month passed and the warehouse of National Food Authority (NFA) in Bohol remains empty.
NFA-Bohol Manager Maria Fe Evasco earlier said they expected the shipment by July.
July comes and NFA-Bohol Spokesperson Joel Lim said NFA-7 Regional Office in Cebu has no advice yet when the shipment for Bohol would be scheduled.
Lim, however, said that the first vessel carrying 200,000 bags of rice from Vietnam already arrived and the unloading was ongoing as of early this week at the Cebu International Port.
The second vessel carrying 140,000 bags followed and unloading is also ongoing.
Lim said they continue to coordinate with the Cebu warehouse of NFA-7 and no definite schedule had been given yet as to when exactly could the shipment to Bohol would start.
Even in Cebu City, NFA has not yet started the distribution of supply to retailers.
Lim explained that NFA’s protocol is to complete the unloading first, then all the stock brought to the warehouse will be accounted or weighed and be recorded.
Until such time when the actual volume getting into the Cebu depot of NFA-region is ascertained, NFA would start the distribution to retailers.
When the supply for Bohol arrives here, the local NFA warehouse can go ahead with the distribution- -simultaneous with the unloading- -as the usual practice.
He said that after being weighed at the warehouse upon arrival, the stock can immediately be released for distribution to retailers.
It is not necessary to wait for the unloading of all the stock to be completed before distribution can start.
Lim also said Bohol usually gets 20,000-30,000 bags from every shipment, depending on the carrying capacity of the vessel assigned to deliver to Bohol.
“Usually, it is 20,000-30,000 bags per shipment. It would then depend on our distribution plan, but it usually lasts for one to two months,” according to Lim.
Rice consumption in Bohol is 8,860 bags daily including commercial rice.
Assuming all consumers prefer NFA rice, the stock of 20,000 bags is good for two days only.
However, Bohol has more than enough supply of commercial rice, posting 101 percent self-sufficiency.
NFA also has to reserve a buffer stock for emergency.
Lim also noted that harvest season has just ended and the next harvest would be in September to October.
So far, there has been no problem on the production and supply of rice in Bohol, according to Lim.
The warehouse of NFA-Bohol ran out of stock since the first week of June yet.
As of February, NFA-Bohol had a standby supply of 20,000 sacks of rice and the last number of sacks had all been distributed by then, leaving the warehouse without a single sack.
Since June, NFA-Bohol has been awaiting for the shipment from the Cebu depot of NFA-regional office.
He added that the cargo vessel carrying the supply of rice imported from Vietnam arrived sometime after the first week of June.
NFA-Bohol expects to be allocated around 20,000 to 30,000 sacks of rice from the latest shipment as the usual allocation for Bohol from NFA-7.
As usual, NFA-Bohol still prioritizes the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, and local government units (LGUs) in the distribution for standby stock in times of calamities.
As of the arrival of the last batch of shipment in the last part of February, NFA-Bohol resumed distribution of stock to accredited market outlets, making quality rice at low price available to the public again.