NFA assures public of enough quality, inexpensive grains
By Armand M. Galang
Manila Times, July 18, 2004

CABANATUAN CITY—Executives of the National Food Authority (NFA) in Central Luzon on Friday led surprise visits to hundreds of its accredited stores and Bigasan ni Gloria sa Palengke all over the region to ensure the availability of quality and inexpensive rice in the market.

The visits coincided with the start of NFA’s milling operations to convert all palay stocks into rice in preparation for distribution during the lean season that officially began this month.

Nicolas Crisostomo, director of NFA Central Luzon, inspected several public markets, in San Fernando City, Pampanga; Tarlac City, and in Cabiao and San Antonio, Nueva Ecija.

Crisostomo, who was accompanied by Edelino Alejandro, NFA’s manager for Nueva Ecija, went to the field days after he ordered the reactivation of various Palengke Watch teams to provide consumers ready access to the agency’s “good quality and low-priced rice.”

Alejandro said NFA’s regular milled rice is still sold at P16 a kilo, while well-milled rice goes for P18 a kilo.

In his market tour, Crisostomo warned rice traders in Central Luzon not to violate NFA’s policies on rice distribution, the most common of which are overpricing and stocks diversion.

He also reassured the public that the region has a sufficient supply of rice with an estimated inventory of 5.3 million bags, which is good for 83 days, or until September when harvests start.

In preparation for the lean months, the NFA has also activated operation centers to man NFA offices seven days a week, specially during calamities. The centers, Crisostomo pointed out, will facilitate transactions and withdrawals of rice for relief operations.