BAGUIO CITY — The National Food Authority (NFA) today announced it would be issuing family access cards to ensure that only the poorest of the poor get a steady supply of the staple.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), tasked to identify beneficiaries, will prepare the list of families eligible for the rice ration. By government standards, a poor family earns only P5,000 or lower a month.
Cordillera NFA Manager Roland Rufo also clarified there is a steady supply of rice in the region assuring the public there is no rice shortage, and explaining global market forces caused the spikes in the price.
Rufo disclosed concerned government agencies would discuss the mechanics of the rice cards Friday. In earlier newspaper reports, the NFA expects the access cards ready by July 28 for the card holders to continue availing of the P18.25 per kilo government subsidized rice.
As noted, the price of NFA rice has gone up to P25 in its distribution outlets, with other outlets selling at P35.
Rufo clarified the P18.25 rice is 25% broken, while the P25 is 15% broken. He said the infusion of NFA rice in the market is aimed at pulling down the prices of commercial varieties. He noted that in the Baguio City public market, the price pf commercial rice has gone down to P33.
Besides infusion of the NFA rice, Rufo said the downtrend in the price might also be due to the trickling harvest time in many parts of the country.
He said NFA would not allow rice outlets to sell rice in bulk to individual buyers.
Poorest families in towns and cities in Metro Manila have availed of the access cards in May. # Lyn V. Ramo