MANILA - Metro Manila has sufficient rice supply in case the capital region is placed under lockdown to prevent a possible widespread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the National Food Authority (NFA) said Wednesday.
“There are still rice stocks in the households and the commercial sector, which comprise the great portion of rice stocks in the market,” NFA Administrator Judy Carol Dansal said in a statement.
Dansal said the capital has at least 455,000 bags of rice, "good for 40 days," at 10 percent market participation.
The country's grains procurement agency said the transfer to Metro Manila of more than 2,000,000 bags of rice from nearby provinces is being fast tracked to ensure supply sufficiency for the region.
"[Metro Manila] will receive 311,920 bags from Region 1; 1,000,000 bags from Region 02; and 912,200 bags from Region 03," said NFA.
As of now, the total government rice inventory is 9.636 million bags, according to the NFA. This is equivalent to 14.5-day rice consumption requirement of the whole country at 661,930 bags.
Under Republic Act No. 11203, the NFA is mandated to maintain a sufficient level of rice supply for emergency or calamity situations. The agency will sell rice through government agencies and other concerned parties.
There is no official order on a Metro Manila lockdown despite the rising number of COVID-19 cases. President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said it was too early to declare a lockdown as the country has “not reached that kind of contamination.”