Article: No rice shortage in Kalinga ? NFA -
23 Sep 2007
TABUK CITY, Kalinga – The National Food Authority (NFA) here has denied a report that this province is experiencing a rice shortage.
This clarification came as a number of businessmen here had speculated that province is experiencing a shortage in the supply of the staple grain because of the recent increase in the price of rice.
Secondary to the price increase is the observation that there is a limited stock of the commodity in the warehouses of local millers. The abnormally high price of the commodity and the limited supplies of the local rice millers are indicators of the alleged short supply of rice, the businessmen said.
They said that from an average normal price of P900 to P1,000 per 50-kilo bag, rice is now selling at as high as P1,250 per cavan. NFA provincial manager Eduardo Mercado pointed out the province could not experience a shortage if its consumption iss lower than its production.
"How there could be a rice shortage in a surplus area which harvests three million bags of palay and consumes only 400,000 bags," asked Mercado.
He also cited the latest survey of the Bureau of Statistics which said some 61,000 bags of rice are in the province’s households in the province which is is a sizable rice reserve.
Mercado said the high price of rice in the province is the result of the lack of discipline among businessmen who take advantage of any situation to increase prices.
"Due to the drought which affected Northern Luzon from May to August, the planting had been delayed in Region 2 which produces 40 percent of the rice yield in the county, resulting to a decrease in the supply of palay and milled rice.
With the limited supply, naturally, the law of supply and demand comes into play and thus, the price of rice would go higher.
The situation is made worse by businessmen who are not satisfied with small profits. "This is a shameful mentality among us Filipinos," Mercado said.
To remedy the situation, Mercado met with local rice retailers and millers last September 3 and appealed to them to bring down their price to what should have been the normal market levels.
He warned them that the NFA will strengthen its monitoring system and apprehend violators.
Mercado also said that they have fielded rolling stores to sell in Tabuk City public markets four days a week "for visibility and availability of government rice and to cause a lowering of rice prices in those markets.
Mercado said there are signs that the NFA has been succeeding in its efforts to somehow cause a reductionin the priceof rice since some retailers have already started complaining.
Mercado said that the situation is about to stabilize because farmers in Rizal, Kalinga and also Isabela are starting to harvest their rice crops.
Posted By: Manila Bulletin Online, Provincial Section, 23 September 2007
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