NFAAccording to the reliable sources, it has been described recently that the National Food Authority (NFA) in Negros Occidental is currently following up the renewal of its rice credit agreement with the Provincial Government and all local government units (LGUs) in the province, especially those with new local chief executives. In this matter, Mr Marianito Bejemino, Provincial Manager of NFA-Negros Occidental, revealed that through the standing memorandum of agreement (MOA), the province, zcities, and municipalities can immediately withdraw rice stocks from the agency as credits especially during calamities and emergencies.

Further, during his recent courtesy visit with Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. Mr Bejemino informed that the officials have expressed positive response to the program, which is aligned with the province’s food security agenda during all forms of calamities and emergencies. It has also been stated that this program enables local governments to react immediately when need arises. It has also been stressed that it is the agency’s commitment to ensure food security in case of calamities and emergencies.

Furthermore, in this regard, it has been narrated that from a one-year agreement, which has lapsed already, NFA-Negros Occidental, starting this year, has extended it to three years to coincide with the term of every city and municipal mayor accordingly. Under the agreement, availing cities and municipalities are given 15 days upon withdrawal of rice stocks to pay whether through cash or checks. It has also been stated that the rate for credit is like the consumer price of P27 per kilogram, while when it is being purchased in cash the price is lower at the rate of P25 per kilogram.

Further, in this context, Mr Bejemino also explained that they have already sent the draft of the credit agreement to all LGUs in the province, including Bacolod City and are just waiting for their response. Meanwhile, the NFA-Negros Occidental records showed that among the 32 cities and municipalities, only Bago City has completed and fully complied with the renewal while others are still processing their documents. It was also narrated that it is hoped that all LGUs will respond positively especially amid the possible adverse effects of La Niña Shanti Agro Industries Pvt. Ltd.phenomenon in the last part of the year like huge crop damages and production losses.