MANILA As prices of commercial rice continue to escalate, the National Food Authority (NFA) has intensified its rice distribution to make its low-priced rice more accessible and available to more consumers.
To date, a total of 15,892 accredited rice retail outlets are selling NFA rice nationwide, including the 1,873 in the National Capital Region, located in public markets and barangays (villages).
Even the local government units, local parishes and farmers' cooperatives are tapped as NFA conduits in the distribution of the low-priced but quality NFA rice at PHP27 and PHP32 per kg.
Aside from the regular accredited outlets, the NFA is also deploying mobile stores through its Tagpuan Day Rice Response Delivery (TRRD), in partnership with the accredited operator and local government units in remote barangays and resettlement areas around the country.
These mobile stores will serve marginalized consumers, especially the indigenous peoples and those affected by recent calamities and crises, such as Zamboanga City.
TRDD is a rice distribution strategy where the PHP27 per kg. NFA rice is sold directly to poor and marginalized beneficiaries in the area at an appointed time and place in close coordination with the local barangay.
The NFA distributes an average of 58,000 bags of rice a day. Dedicated outlets, those selling only NFA rice, mostly located in public markets get an average of 20 to 50 bags in weekly allocation while ordinary accredited retailers are allocated with five to 20 bags weekly, depending on their capitalization.
With the improved weather condition, NFA Administrator Jason Aquino said the unloading and delivery of imported rice to the agency's warehouses are being fast-tracked.
He added that NFA personnel in the field are working double time to ensure the continuous supply of the low-priced NFA rice in the market.
We have also stepped up our monitoring activities to protect our consumers against businessmen who may take advantage of the situation. We are closely monitoring our accredited retail outlets to ensure that NFA rice is being sold at the government-prescribed price, Aquino said.
Aquino also urged the public to be more vigilant.
We need the cooperation of the public. This is not the sole responsibility of the agency but everybody's concern, especially at this time when price spikes are noted in basic commodities. We should not let erring businessmen take advantage of our poor kababayans, he said. (NFA PR)
Source: Philippine News Agency