Philippines’s National Food Authority (NFA) said, the rice supply in earthquake struck Surigao del Norte will be enough to meet the requirements of the province for more than two weeks. The NFA released 200 bags of rice requested by the local government unit (LGU) for its relief operations after the 6.7-magnitude earthquake hit the province on Feb. 10. “It is one of the mandates of NFA to provide rice to a calamity-stricken area within 22 hours from the occurrence of a calamity or emergency,” said NFA Administrator Jason Laureano Y. Aquino. More than 232,000 bags of rice were strategically positioned in its warehouses in Caraga and sufficient rice inventory of 8.88 million bags nationwide as on February 10, 2017, said Jason. The NFA has a standing memorandum of agreement (MOA) with various relief agencies wherein LGUs can withdraw rice on credit from NFA anytime during calamities and emergencies.
In a statement NFA divulged, “The NFA Regional Office in Caraga is also coordinating with other LGUs, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, and other relief agencies for further issuance of rice for distribution to affected families and those in the evacuation centers.” Based on the reports of the NFA monitoring teams, prevailing market price of commercial rice also remains stable despite the declaration of Surigao City under state of calamity. The NFA market monitoring teams were immediately deployed to assess the rice supply and price situation in the market. They also inspected NFA-accredited rice retail outlets to ensure that affordable government rice is readily available and accessible to the consuming public, especially those in affected areas in the region.