The National Food Authority (NFA) in Bohol continued to supply subsidized rice varieties to authorized outlets in the province as it awaits instructions and new policies in line with the Rice Tariffication Act and the signing of the measure’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR) last month.
According to NFA Bohol spokesperson Joel Lim, they continued to conduct normal operations amid the impending implementation of the new law, which would relegate the agency to keeping buffer stock for emergency purposes and buying unmilled rice from farmers.
“As usual, padayon gihapon ta sa atong pag-distribute sa atong NFA rice pinaagi sa tanang mga accredited retailers nato,” Lim said.
He said that the subsidized rice is still sold at P27 per kilo.
Last week, 20,000 sacks of rice were shipped to Tagbilaran City while another 20,000 sacks were expected to arrive this week.
“That’s more than enough para sa atong rice requirement para sa atong province of Bohol,” he added.
According to Lim, they have also recently procured 729 bags of palay from local farmers.
The NFA has yet to be given final instructions as to when they will stop selling subsidized rice but would likely continue only until the remaining supplies last.
“We are still awaiting final instructions as to kanus-a ta mo undang sa atong pagpamaligya kay initially it was reported na until August. Pero mi-announce man pod to si Sec. [Manny] Piñol na up to September,” said Lim.
Consumers have already raised concern over the removal of the cheap NFA rice in the local market.
NFA personnel have also aired their worries on the Rice Tariffication Act which may affect their employment status as the agency takes on a new, and possibly lesser, role.
On the other hand, the new law will lift import restrictions on rice, a measure the government hopes will make the food staple more affordable for Filipinos.
The liberalized rice importation is projected to slash rice prices by as much as P7. (A. Doydora)