No soaring rice price in Bicol, says NFA


LEGAZPI CITY – What happened in Mindanao where the price of commercial rice had gone up to as much as P50 per kilo would not happen here in Bicol, said Edgar F. Bentulan, Director of the National Food Authority in Region 5.

Bentulan revealed that the price of commercial rice in Mindanao had really shot up to as much as P40 to P50 per kilo. He said he had found this out when he visited his family in Cagayan de Oro City recently.

“Because we had run out of rice, we tried to buy a half sack of rice from the local NFA dealer but we failed because every family was allotted only five kilos of rice. So we bought the cheapest commercial rice at P35 per kilo,” he said.

Bentulan said that the price of commercial rice had gone up in Mindanao because traders had been expecting the lean months when the cereal would be in short supply.

“We’re better off in Bicol because the highest price is only P35 per kilo and that is only for Masbate. Here in Legazpi City you can buy commercial rice at P31 to P32 per kilo,” the NFA chief said.

He also assured Bicolanos that the region had enough rice as 150,000 bags of rice from Vietnam were being unloaded at Tabaco port

“Excluding the 150,000 bags of rice from Vietnam, we have in our inventory 821,000 bags as buffer stock which could last for 114 days for the whole region,” Bentulan said.

The former NFA regional director of Region 12 said the decline in rice production in Mindanao could be attributed to conversion of some rice lands for the production or palm oil, sugar and corn. He also blamed climate change for the irregular rice planting season that has resulted in low harvest.

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