THE National Food Authority (NFA) will no longer sell NFA rice at P18.25 a kilo.
Starting Thursday, NFA rice will cost P25 a kilo in all public markets in the city, according to NFA Misamis Oriental Victoria Duray.
“We are heeding the clamor from the general public for us to sell good quality rice,” Duray said.
Duray said the grains they are selling for P25 per kilo is from Vietnam but of better quality than those sold at P18.25 a kilo.
She said the new rice will be available to the public at three kilos per family.
“Actually it is the public who is demanding that we sell better varieties of rice,” Duray said.
The announcement came as prices of commercial rice varieties went up to as much as P54 a kilo starting this month.
NFA spokesperson Rex Estoperez said in Manila they ordered the distribution of the P25 a kilo rice to curb speculative retail pricing.
Estoperez said the medium price rice is distributed in the cities of Davao, General Santos and Cagayan de Oro where the price of rice is unusually high.
“We know that speculation plays a role in pricing. For example, when the price of fuel goes up or when we report that a drought or typhoon affected harvests, retailers may think about raising prices,” Estoperez said.
Subsidized rice, sold at P18.25 per kilo, will still be available in far-flung barangay of Cagayan de Oro and other provinces, according to Duray.
“We assure the public that the P25 kilo of NFA rice is a higher grade variety, yes it also came from Vietnam but it is a mid primed commercial grade,” Duray said.
Trinidad Abragan, a vegetable vendor, was taken by surprise when she saw the huge tarpaulin announcing the new price of NFA grains in Cogon market Thursday morning.
Abragan have to dip for more money when her turn came at the NFA retail store.
“Bug-at na baya gyud na nga presyo pero wala man mi mahimo kay dili man pud namo makaya ang tag P44 nga kilo. One day one eat na mi ana (It is really expensive but it is better than buying rice at P44 a kilo. We will eat only once a day with that price),” Abragan said.
Prete Digna Pandan, of barangay Iponan, agreed. She said they are still lucky that the increase was not too high.