CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)–“The sacks of rice distributed by DSWD and LGUs from NFA nowadays are fresh and newly milled from the palay we procured from our farmers in the region since last harvest season. This is a well-milled rice just like the commercial rice sold at the markets at P40-45 per kilo.”
Engr. John Robert R. Hermano, National Food Authority (NFA)-10 regional director explained in one of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Session hearings citing its judicious release of government subsidized rice which is in good quality as distributed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and local government units (LGUs).
Under the Rice Tariffication Law (RA 11203), NFA-10 is no longer allowed to import rice as it is mandated to maintain sufficient buffer rice stock through procurement solely from local farmers.
NFA-10 buys “palay” (unhusked rice) up to P19 per kg depending on the percentage of its moisture content, purity, and damaged and discolored kernels. The agency observes high quality standards as it buys palay so as to produce and maintain good quality rice in its inventory for buffer stocks.
To come up with a price estimate on rice trading, the commercial price of rice is obtained from the doubled farm-gate price. As NFA enters into a third party contract for its operational activities, it incurs operational expenses for its handling, trucking and milling services.
Thus, with the agency’s P19/kg buying price, the government incurs a total break-even cost of P38/kg.
The P25 release price of NFA is subsidized by the government for its social function. Under this operating system, NFA-10’s field offices at present prioritize the release of NFA rice to identified relief agencies to ensure that such losses will serve its purpose.
Both NFA palay support price of P19 and its rice release price of P25 per kilogram are set by the NFA Council.
Chaired by the Department of Agriculture (DA) secretary, the NFA Council is composed of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), Department of Finance (DOF), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Representative from the Office of the President, Farmer Sector Representative, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and NFA as vice chair.
In response to COVID-19 pandemic, NFA-10 has served a total of 138,342 bags of 50 kgs rice requirements of government relief agencies from March 19 to June 2, broken down as follows: 38,352 bags to DSWD and its local units in the region; 99,870 bags to the LGUs, and 120 bags to legislators, namely Senators Cynthia Villar and Grace Poe. (NFA10/PIA10)