The National Food Authority in Bohol has to reserve its stock for emergencies and calamities with the unavailability of the usual chartered vessel that could haul rice in bulk from Cebu depot,
said an NFA official.
NFA-Bohol Manager Maria Fe Evasco explained that as of now they “temporarily suspended the selling of NFA rice to accredited outlets”, until the chartered vessel that used to bring the stock from Cebu to Bohol would be available.
As of now, the stock from Cebu depot of NFA regional office are shipped through Lite Shipping which could only carry 500 bags of NFA rice a day.
This is the reason why the supply of NFA rice in Bohol is limited and only commercial rice are sold by the accredited outlets of NFA.
Evasco further explained that the remaining stock at the NFA-Bohol warehouse in Tagbilaran City is reserved for DSWD, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology for the jails in Bohol, and local arms of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council for emergencies and calamities.
This is considering that the current stock is only enough for the food security requirement in times of emergencies and calamities that would be attended to by the DSWD, and the food requirement of jails which is attended to by the BJMP and for relief operations of the disaster risk reduction and management units.
Evasco said the supply of NFA rice at this time has to be conserved to meet the requirement of these agencies as of the present situation until the chartered vessel would be available.
She added that once NFA-Bohol would receive its boat load shipment from Cebu, where the loading was set to start last Friday and with the weather permitting, they could already resume selling NFA rice to accredited outlets.
It is estimated to be available by the first or second week of February.
“Pending the arrival of our boat load shipment from Cebu, we temporarily suspended the selling of NFA rice to our accredited outlets. Mao nang wala tay makita nga NFA rice sa atong kamerkadohan,” according to Evasco.
She, however, said she could not promise as to the definite date, but could only assure that as soon as their chartered vessel arrives, they could immediately resume supplying the accredited outlets so NFA rice would again be available in the markets.
Evasco also said that the supply for Bohol came from the regional depot of NFA in Cebu, but NFA’s supply of rice is imported from Vietnam.
Evasco also clarified that the prices of NFA rice are not affected by the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) and the well-milled varieties from NFA would still be sold to retailers at P30 per kilo and P32 per kilo when sold to the consumers or P1,600 per sack.
NFA used to have the regular-milled varieties at P27. But the regional office of NFA is now supplying Bohol with well-milled varieties which is at P32 per kilo.
Evasco also observed that based on their monitoring, the current prices of rice- -even commercial rice- -are of the same level with the prices as of the last quarter of 2017.