IN order to either confirm or negate the general perception or report that there is shortage of rice, your CDO City Price Coordinating Council (CDO-CPCC) collaborated with the National Food Authority-Region 10 and agreed to conduct a physical inspection of rice wholesalers and retailers in the city.
CD-CPCC is chaired by Mayor Oscar Moreno and co-chaired by yours truly, and with the visible cooperation of councilor George Goking and the DTI Misamis Oriental Provincial Office through its Provincial Director Ma. Eliza Pabillore who sits as vice chairperson and the tandem of Ms. Almer Masillones and Roxy San Juan.
The first day of inspection yielded data that may support the conclusion that indeed there is no shortage of commercial rice in the city. This data is from just fifteen of the targeted number of NFA licensees. The target number for inspection was intended to focus on the major retailers and wholesalers.
Data from the 15 outlets indicate that their inventory of rice was 127,000 bags, most of which are 50-kilo bags. If we consider only 70 percent of the available stock are in 50-kilo bags and the rest are divided by two and one-half, we will have a total 50-kilo bags of 104 thousand.
According to the NFA, the per capita rice consumption in the country is 103 kilos per year. RiceWeb however says it is only 95 kilos. So let us just consider the per capita consumption as 100 kilos per year for purposes of this initial analysis.
Roughly therefore, every Filipino consumes two 50-kilo bags of rice per year or 0.17 bag per month. Multiplying this consumption with the estimated population of the city of 600 thousand will give us 100 thousand bags of rice consumed in the city in one month.
If this initial unofficial analysis (the NFA will still come out with its official analysis), it may be concluded that the inventory of just 15 wholesalers and retailers in the city is enough to feed the entire city population for one month. The outlets so far checked confirmed that their distribution is mostly within the city. Only a small portion of their supply goes to other places in Misamis Oriental.
While the NFA has confirmed that they have withheld the usual level of distribution of NFA rice to their licensed retailers, the NFA has not totally stopped their deliveries. They have prioritized supplying to areas hit by disasters or calamities (or have reserved their inventory for these eventualities), to the DSWD, to local government units, non-governmental organizations and lastly, to their licensed retailers.
The NFA supplies rice in the market at merely six percent. The reported four-day inventory of the NFA was actually on the assumption that the NFA will supply all of the demand, including that for commercial rice. Hence, at purely six percent market share, the NFA inventory could last for more than two months.
Also, as this was written, some 100 thousand bags of commercial rice imported by a local trader were being unloaded in the Macabalan pier.