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Palace: Rice situation under control

By Genalyn Kabiling

The government has assured the country’s rice situation was “under control,” promising it would prevent any shortage of the food staple.

Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr., chairman of the National Food Authority (NFA) Council, has guaranteed the standby acquisition of 250,000 metric tons of rice to boost the country’s supply, according to Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque.

“He says that situation really is under control. There is a standby order for 250,000 metric ton of rice. So, of course we will not allow our inventory to be depleted,” Roque said during a Palace press briefing.

Senator Nancy Binay earlier called on the NFA to address the dwindling supply of affordable rice in the country.

Binay said ordinary folks are forced to buy expensive rice due to the shortage of NFA rice in the markets.

She highlighted a report from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) that showed the increase of prices of regular and well-milled rice by R1 to R3 per kilo in six regional centers.

Earlier, Roque said the President has taken a “diplomatic initiative” to address the rice situation. The Palace official however declined to reveal the details due to lack of authority from the President.