ALL rice stocks of the National Food Authority (NFA), kept in strategically-located warehouses are maintained in good condition at all times and ready for release to calamity victims as required under the law.
This was clarified by NFA administrator Judy Carol Dansal as she assured the public the NFA is compliant with its mandate of maintaining a safe and sufficient buffer stock for any emergencies our countrymen may face anywhere in the country.
Under Republic Act (RA) 11203 or the rice tariffication law passed in February this year, the NFA is mandated to maintain a buffer stock good for 15-30 days of daily consumption requirement (DCR) to meet contingencies during calamities and emergencies anywhere in the country.
Dansal disclosed the NFA currently holds about 4.5 million bags of rice and 6.4 million bags of palay or a total rice equivalent of 8.5 million bags of rice good to last for 13 days based on national DCR of 651,860 bags.
“We abide by what is dictated by our mandate. We store and handle our stocks following good warehouse-keeping protocols in all our warehouses across the country so that we can immediately respond to any need for rice supply during calamities and emergencies,” Dansal added.
Dansal further said the NFA continues to buy palay from farmers to provide them a ready market for their produce at reasonable price.
“We conduct procurement operations on a year-round basis. We have more than 300 buying stations across the country that are open daily where farmers can deliver their produce and avail of our support price and incentives,” Dansal said.
The NFA currently buys palay at P17/kilogram support price plus P3/kg buffer stocking incentive (BSI), P0.20/kg drying incentive; P0.20/kg delivery incentive, and P0.30/kg as cooperative development incentive fee (CDIF).
This brings NFA’s maximum buying price for clean and dry palay to P20.70/kg for farmer cooperatives and P20.40/kg for individual farmers.
Meanwhile, the NFA Council had approved an increase in NFA’s selling price to government relief agencies and local government units (LGUs) to P37/kg for the agency to recover from further losses as the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of RA 11203 also requires that the agency should operate with financial stability.
It is estimated that NFA spends an additional P12.30/kg to mill, transport and market the local palay it procures plus P2/kg overhead costs.
At the agency’s palay buying price of P20.70/kg and, considering the 65-percent milling recovery rate, processing fee, trucking fee and other fees, break-even cost would be at P35 per kg including overhead costs.
“We will never allow our stocks to rot or deteriorate beyond what is fit for human consumption. And we will continue supporting our farmers through our continuous procurement operations throughout the year,” Dansal said.