MANILA, Philippines –President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has assured the public of adequate supply of rice despite the dry spell experienced by some regions these past months.
Arroyo also ordered concerned agencies to check against overpricing of rice and ensure that the one sold by the National Food Administration (NFA) were sold at P18 pesos per kilo.
Arroyo issued the directives on Thursday as she left for Australia to join other heads of states in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Meeting on September 8 and 9.
“But before I leave, I would like to assure families whose harvests have been affected by the drought in Luzon,” she said in Filipino in a statement.
At the Cabinet meeting Tuesday, Arroyo said she instructed the Department of Agriculture and the NFA to make available to markets all over the country the NFA rice.
She said the NFA would increase the supply of NFA rice in Metro Manila by 30 percent.
Arroyo added that she also instructed Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap to secure rice from the Visayas and Mindanao and bring them to Metro Manila.
“We will make sure that there is enough rice for everyone. And I will monitor this even when I am at the APEC,” she said.
The NFA said it would import 260,000 metric tons of rice to meet demand.
NFA director Rex Estoperez, in a news briefing in Malacanang Wednesday, also warned against retailers selling the NFA rice higher than P18 per kilo.