P70/kg of rice: Zamboanga City eyes state of calamity due to rice shortage

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 21 2018 08:21 AM

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MANILA - Local officials have recommended a state of calamity to be declared over Zamboanga City amid a rice shortage that pushed the staple's price to as high as P50 to P70 per kilo, Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said Tuesday. 

Commercial rice meant for Zamboanga had been diverted to other parts of Mindanao like Jolo, Sulu, which saw a massive fire that engulfed some 3,500 houses last month, Salazar told radio DZMM. 

Zamboanga City, she said, needs 180,000 sacks of rice to have a 3-month buffer stock. It has received only 40,000 to 50,000 sacks of the government-subsidized staple from the National Food Authority (NFA). 

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol last week directed the NFA to release 14,000 more rice sacks to Zamboanga City. Local officials have also asked for an additional 6,000 bags of NFA rice, said Salazar. 

The local government, she added, has issued a resolution setting the price ceiling of rice at P42 per kilo, down from its current average price of P50 to P70. 

Salazar said she also ordered an inspection of warehouses to ensure that traders are not hoarding rice.