Rice stock 'more than enough' during COVID-19 crisis: NFA

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 24 2020 10:54 AM

Rice stock 'more than enough' during COVID-19 crisis: NFA 1
Customers rush to buy hygiene products and other basic goods at a supermarket in Quezon City. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Philippines has enough rice supply as the 1-month lockdown of Luzon island drives demand for the staple grain, the National Food Administration (NFA) chief said Tuesday.

There are 9.3 million bags of rice lodged in NFA warehouses across the country, NFA Administrator Judy Carol Dansal told DZMM.

"Lahat po ng bodega ng NFA punong-puno last year so we have a good inventory to start this year. At kahit na nangyari yung sakuna sa Taal, sobra-sobra pa rin tayo [ng supply]," Dansal said.

(All our NFA warehouses are full since last year so we have a good inventory to start this year. Even if the tragedy of the Taal happened, we still have more than enough.)

The NFA also has unmilled rice on standby in case the country needs more, she said.

"We have exerted effort na tuloy-tuloy po ang milling dahil malaki po ngayon ang demand ng ating local government units at sa Department of Social Welfare and Development," she said, without disclosing demand figures.

(We have exerted effort to have a continuous million because there is high demand from local governments and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.)

Local government units are not expected to hoard rice for their constituents because they don't have enough storage facilities, the NFA chief said.

Luzon's borders were temporarily closed since last week to limit the entry and exit of possible coronavirus carriers. The transport restrictions don't apply to food, medicine and frontline workers.