By LITO RULONA
Cagayan de Oro City Price Coordinating Council (CPCC) vice chairman Atty. Edgardo “Egay” Uy on Friday said he was not convinced of the assurance made by the National Food Authority 10 that the region has the ample supply of rice in the market.
Uy commented during the meeting made by the City Council’s Committee on Trade, Commerce and Industry / Ways and Means chaired by City Councilor George Goking on Tuesday that amply or enough supply of rice distributed in the market would surely drive down the increase of prices sold in the market.
“We were assured of the ample supply of rice in the previous meetings with NFA-10 officials but spoken words and assurances would not really convince us unless we see the commodity,” he said.
He said what is important is that enough supplies sold in the market should be given a top priority considering that it will affect the present condition of prices.
“If the demand is high as rice is being considered as the staple food for everybody and the supply is still short then we would be facing high prices sold in the market. I am even urging NFA-10 regional office to implement strictly the Philippine Grains Standardization Program (PGSP),” he added.
He said if the PGSP is strictly implemented then the grains traders, retailers or the suppliers would surely tow the line if what was within the law because even in the price tagging in the market there was indeed a violation.
Uy claimed that some implementing rules of the PGSP includes the color coding of sacks, rice tags and the bags of rice supposedly should be marked with the kind of varieties and the origin of the rice.
He said NFA-10 should strictly implement the PGSP as part of the regulating body.
“If they feel that the regulator is not really doing its job then the rice traders would just set back and relax. And some would be doing some illegal activities. Ang consuming public ang importante ani. The public must be told on what really is happening,” he pointed out.
Uy said NFA-10 should issue a public statement on the real score on the issue of shortage of rice and rapid increases of prices.
City Legal Office (CLO) representative Mr. Antonio Resma, Jr. said they had been coordinating with the NFA-10 since February and to come-up and enlighten the issue through the city council’s committee.
Another schedule of committee meeting is set next week to discuss and enlighten more the public on the issuance of an assurance that the Northern Mindanao is still having enough supplies of rice coming from local farms and internationally through import process.