PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. said that the Philippines has enough rice supply amid reports that the price of rice will go up by P5 per kilo.
Earlier, the Department of Agriculture, noted that the prices of unmilled rice could go up P23 per kilo, which is higher by the P19 procurement price set by the National Food Authority (NFA).
The DA also said that the country’s buffer stock is currently at 51 days. It is also lower than the ideal 90 days needed to keep the prices stable.
The agency attributed this to the low rice imports.
According to President Marcos, the government is now looking at ways to maintain a low price pf rice in the market.
“Mukha namang maganda ang sitwasyon natin. Hindi tayo magkukulang sa bigas. At tinitingnan natin lahat ng paraan upang ang presyo ay ma-control natin at hindi naman masyadong tataas,” Marcos said in a video statement.
“Magpa-plano kami kung kailangan mag-import, kung kailangan magpahaba, magparami ng buffer stock sa NFA dahil masyado ng mababa,” he added.
“‘Yun lang ang nakita naming problema, mababa ‘yung buffer stock ng NFA. Kailangan bumili ‘yung NFA para umabot siya ng at least nine days na buffer stock,” he also said.
Marcos said that even if the NFA intends to buy the buffer stock from local producers, the cost of rice will still increase in the market because the agency “will buy a lot.”
This is another problem they are looking at, he said. They also need to buy stocks during the production season.
“Siguro ang magagawa natin ay ang pagbili ay hindi bigla. Hindi malaki. ‘Yun lamang, also, you have to remember. This is agriculture, cyclical ito, by season ito,” said Marcos.
Catherine R. Cueto