PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. believes that the rice supply in the country remains in good shape amid its increasing prices in the market.
In a short video uploaded on the Presidential Communications Office’s (PCO) Facebook page, Marcos, who also serves as the Agriculture Secretary, assured the public that his administration is currently finding ways to control the price of rice in public markets.
This, after he met officials of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the National Food Authority (NFA) to monitor the state of rice supply and the entire agricultural sector in the country.
“We looked at mukha namang maganda naman ang sitwasyon natin. Hindi tayo magkukulang sa bigas at tinitingnan natin lahat ng paraan upang ang presyo ay ma-control natin at hindi naman masyadong tataas,” Marcos stated.
The President, meanwhile, underscored that the NFA needs to purchase and restock its buffer stock to make the country’s rice supply last at least for nine days.
“Magpa-plano kami kung kailangang mag-import, kung kailangang magpahaba, magparami ng buffer stock sa NFA dahil masyado nang mababa. Iyon lang ang nakita naming problema, mababa ‘yung buffer stock ng NFA,” Marcos asserted.
“Kailangan bumili ‘yung NFA para umabot siya ng at least nine (9) days na buffer stock. So ‘yun ang pinaplano natin ngayon kung papaano nila gagawin. Dahil ang NFA kailangan bibilhin nila ‘yung kanilang buffer stock, bibilhin nila sa local producer,” he added.
Marcos, however, admitted that even if the NFA succeeds in replenishing its buffer stock, the cost of rice in the market will remain high as the agency needs to buy a lot.
“Ang problema, kapag sila ay pumasok sa merkado, kapag sila ay namili na para i-replace yung buffer stock na kulang nila, tataas naman ang presyo ng bigas dahil marami silang bibilhin. Kaya’t ‘yun ang hinahanapan namin ng paraan para i-adjust. Siguro ang magagawa natin ay ang pagbili ay hindi bigla. Hindi malaki,” Marcos explained.
“In terms of the general supply for the country, I think we are in good shape. Although we’ll still have to import, our importations have come down. Our agricultural sector is beginning to come back beyond pre-pandemic levels. And so that’s progressing nicely,” Marcos further assured.
On DA’s rice monitoring as of Thursday, local commercial rice is being sold in public markets across Metro Manila between P37 to P58 per kilogram.