By ELDIE AGUIRRE
of GSD-Digos bureau .
DIGOS City – The National Food Authority (NFA) in Davao del Sur is running out of rice supply. What it has is good only until tomorrow.
“We only have 300 sacks of NFA rice. Even if we stretch it out, it would only last until Saturday. And we don’t have buffer stocks anymore,” said Lucia Balayon, NFA manager for Davao del Sur and Davao Occidental.
Balayon said the NFA has existing outlets in Digos which they merged into one and provided it with 40 bags daily. It only sells two to five kilos for every buyer.
She said this would directly affect the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, the Provincial Rehabilitation Center, local governments and government line agencies.
Balayon said local governments nay find themselves buying rice from traders for P43 to P50 per kilo.
But Balayon said she was optimistic and there was nothing to worry about because she expects 250,000 metric tons of imported rice, and rice farmers in the province are harvesting.
“There is no rice shortage in the province. It’s only the NFA warehouse that has no available supply. It’s just sad to note that we could not compete with traders directly buying fresh palay from the farmers due to the fact that we only have P17 per kilo budget which is way too low compared to the traders’ current farm gate buying price that range from P19 to P25 per kilo. There would be no reason that rice farmers will sell their palay to the NFA. All we can do is to wait for the arrival of the proposed imported rice before we could be back in business,” Balayon said.