Sunday, August 26, 2018 14:05
Agricultural secretary Manny Piñol recently stated that the rice crisis in Zamboanga City is now over, even if he assured that the city will have available buffer stocks.
A resolution was also signed in which President Rodrigo Duterte was asked to allow the special import allocation of 132,000 tons or 2,240,000 bags and technical assistance for 1,000 hectares of farmland in Zamboanga City, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.
The resolution also calls for an end to smuggling and recommended the establishment of a trading center for rice in the BASULTA area, without prejudice to rice suppliers from the neighboring province of Zamboanga Sibugay.
Meanwhile, Sec. Piñol has expressed his gratitude to Zamboanga City for sharing the augmented rice from the National Food Authority (NFA) to Basilam, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.
As far as explaining Zamboanga City under the state of disaster, Piñol said it would now depend on the local government unit because there is a need to control prices, but the "declared rice crisis in the context of the offer is over".
He believed that the current prices of rice will need time to go down, because this is the hallmark of the market.
Earlier, Mayor Beng Climaco announced that there is now sufficient supply of commercial rice on the local markets, but prices have remained high from P54 to P70 per kilo, except for the National Food Authority (NFA) at P32 / kilo.
From the last monitoring of warehouses by the city horticulture agency, the mayor said that the time 50 bags of 50 kg, 629 bags of 25 kg, 591 bags of 10 kg with sources coming from Manila, the cities Titay, Zamboanga Sibugay and Molave in Zamboanga had discovered del Sur.
Prices of available trade rice are linked P54 to P70 per kilo, especially in remote barangays.
Commercial rice traders have also pledged to deliver 100,000 bags of rice for Zamboanga plus additional 40,000 bags of NFA rice, all within a week.
"We are still trying to find ways to stabilize prices and make them normal again," Climaco said, adding that recommendations will be made when she meets Agriculture Minister Manny Piñol.
One of the recommendations is the possibility to sell to NFA the smuggled rice confiscated by the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
What usually happens, the mayor regretted, is that smuggled rice that the customs had confiscated in the city, was bought off and sold to rice traders outside of Zamboanga.
"We recommend that, if possible smuggled, smuggled by Customs, instead sold directly to NFA, so that the latter is the person who may sell / distribute it to the local grain stores, subject to the law," she.
She said that the city also Sec. Piñol that rice intended for Zamboanga is really delivered here as intended, instead of diverting it to other places .- (Vic Larato)
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