MANILA – The Zamboanga City government is addressing an "unusual lack in supply" of rice as price surges to as much as P72 per kilo, its mayor said Wednesday.
Rice intended for Zamboanga City was being diverted to Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. Supply from neighboring Zamboanga Sibugay province declined to 400 sacks per month from 2,000 sacks, said Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar.
"We are realizing this unusual lack of supply for Zamboanga City. We want to prevent the scarcity. While we still have the supply, we have to manage the escalating price,” she said.
"It’s the first time that this happened that there’s quite a demand for other areas in the neighboring periphery... despite of our closest neighbor (Zamboanga) Sibugay that is producing the rice," she said.
Zamboanga City needs 180,000 sacks of rice to have a 3-month buffer stock. It received only 40,000 to 50,000 sacks of the government-subsidized staple from the National Food Authority, she said.
Salazar said she was coordinating with the Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry and the National Food Authority to purchase additional stock.