Unloading of NFA rice stalled again due to rains

By Jorge Hallare

LEGAZPI CITY -- The unloading of 200,000 sacks of Thailand rice that were purchased through Government to Government (G2G) process has been temporarily stopped at the Tabaco City Port in Albay province due to bad weather, the National Food Authority (NFA) spokesperson in Bicol said Friday.

Nelsie Alcantara, in an interview, said the sacks of rice on board MV Blue Emperor 1 that were ready for unloading underwent 12 days of fumigation process after weevil bugs or “bokbok” were seen crawling in some of the bags.

"The unloading is supposed to begin this morning after days of fumigation but suspended due to rain. However, anytime soon if the weather permit us to unload, then we will proceed. Our office is expecting to finish the unloading process in five days," Alcantara said.

The rice will be directly delivered to NFA warehouses in six provinces.

Camarines Sur province will have the biggest rice allocation of 47,000 sacks followed by Albay - 41,500, Camarines Norte -16,500, Sorsogon - 21,000, Catanduanes – 12,000, and Masbate - 12,000 sacks.

The NFA regional office has 50,000 sacks of allocation for its buffer stock intended for calamity victims and augmentation to all local government units in Bicol in case of emergencies.

Alcantara added that after the unloading of the 200,000 sacks of imported rice from the first cargo vessel, they will order the unloading of another 164,000 sacks of Thailand rice from MV BMC Bravo which arrived last August 25 at the Tabaco City Port.

The NFA is expecting the price of commercial rice in public markets to go down next month because of the expected pouring of NFA rice at accredited retailers.

Currently, the prices of commercial rice in the market, based on NFA monitoring, range from PHP45 to PHP50 for regular and well milled rice, and PHP48 to PHP52 for special or fancy rice. (PNA)