The National Food Authority-Negros Occidental announced yesterday that 100,000 bags of imported NFA rice from Thailand are expected to arrive in the province first week of November.
Provincial Manager Frisco Canoy told the DAILY STAR that if the supply is sufficient for that time, they might allow government offices and business establishments to directly buy NFA rice for their employees.
He said that based on reports they received, the vessel carrier, MV Inlaco Express, is now being loaded with imported NFA rice in Thailand and will carry 600,000 bags for Davao, General Santos, and Negros Occidental.
General Santos and Davao will get 250,000 bags each. MV Inlaco will dock first in GenSan to unload the supply for these two provinces that belong to Region 11, Canoy said.
It may take three to four weeks for the vessel to transport and unload the supply in Mindanao, and travel from GenSan port to the Bredco port in Bacolod City, he added.
While NFA-Neg. Occ. is waiting for the new supply, 10,000 bags of imported rice from Iloilo will be transported to Bacolod and will be added to the remaining 5,000 bags of the province, Canoy said.
As of yesterday, about 2,500 bags have already arrived from Iloilo, he added.
The 15,000 bags remaining in the province will undergo a calibrated distribution to make sure that it will be enough until another 100,000 bags arrive in Bacolod, Canoy said, adding that they are still implementing a policy where every individual is only allowed to buy a maximum of five kilograms per day.
Meanwhile, the Tagpuan stores of NFA will also increase to 11 in the province as three more will be put up in Bacolod and Bago cities.
Canoy said that apart from the Tagpuan stores, where retailers go to the barangays with high demand for NFA rice, his office is also planning to directly sell from its three unit compounds, specifically in the cities of Bacolod and Kabankalan, and Ilog town in south Negros.
In earlier reports, he had said that these initiatives were made to reach Negrenses in the marginalized sector to enable them to afford cheaper and quality rice.
On Monday, an official from the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry said they are waiting for the move of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry to forge a memorandum of agreement with NFA to allow business establishments that are members of the chamber to buy NFA rice for their employees, to cushion the high prices of goods and commodities.
On this, Canoy said the agency is willing to do it and may include government offices if NFA rice is sufficient, as a new batch of supply is coming to the province.*
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