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Gov’t told to boost rice stock

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Workers arrange sacks of National Food Authority (NFA) rice in Balagtas, Bulacan. — PHILIPPINE STAR/MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

THE GOVERNMENT should ensure it has ample supply of rice during the rainy season, a congressman said on Wednesday.

The National Food Authority’s (NFA) bugger stock should cover at least 15 days of national rice consumption, Party-list Rep. Wilbert T. Lee said in a statement.

“According to the NFA earlier, its nationwide rice inventory can only cover four days of [rice consumption] in times of disasters or emergencies,” he said in Filipino.

Under the Rice Tariffication Law of 2019, the NFA must keep a rice inventory for 15 to 30 days of national rice consumption or 480,000 to 960,000 metric tons of rice.

Mr. Lee said the NFA should buy palay at higher farmgate prices to “entice [farmers] to boost their production.”

The lawmaker has filed a bill that seeks to increase the price of rice bought by the agency from local farmers by as much as P10 per kilo. — Kenneth Christiane L. Basilio

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