By LITO RULONA
The regional office of the National Food Authority (NFA-10) has reportedly exceeded the target for buffer stocking on rice for any disaster relief operation handled by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
This was report submitted by NFA-10 regional director Genaro Nuñez, Jr. to NFA Central Office for immediate compliance as per instruction from NFA OIC-Administrator Tomas Escarez as a “buffer stock.”
Nuñez said they able to comply all the needs of the central office prior to the issuance of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 11203 or “An Act Liberalizing the Importation, Exportation and Trading of Rice, Lifting for the Purpose the Quantitative Restrictions on Rice and for Other Purposes.”
As defined in the IRR of RA 11203, “buffer stock” refers to the optimal level of rice inventory that shall be maintained at any given time to be used for emergency situation and to sustain the disaster relief programs of the government during natural or man-made calamities.
He said under the new mandate NFA will rely its buffer-stocking build-up solely on local palay procurement, that is, completely sans rice import for supply supplement. Provincial managers in the region have been admonished to ascertain wider local supports and be in closer coordination with local government officials, municipal agricultural officers and DA field counterparts.
“To fortify itself in this new role on buffer stocking, NFA in Region 10 has been readied its mechanical dryers, transports and warehouses all in their operational condition to accommodate deliveries of palay from farmers in the provinces. It’s provincial branches continue to enhance the capacity of their personnel in the operational requirements of their palay buying functions and see to it that not only more palay in quantity will be procured, but more importantly the volume procured are also in their good quality condition,” he added.
As of latest reports, NFA Region 10 has purchased a total of 59,687 bags palay, broken down as follows, in bags of 50 kilograms: Bukidnon 49,192, Lanao del Norte 4,858, Misamis Occidental 3,963, and Misamis Oriental 1,674.
“2019 palay procurement is a big leap compared to the last three years performance of the region. The procurement activity boosted since October 2018, when NFA Council Chair DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol approved the additional P3.00 per kilogram as Buffer Stocking Incentive,” he said.