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Palace: No rice shortage in PH




The country is not suffering from any rice shortage and actually can expect additional stocks soon, Malacañang assured the public yesterday.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said an additional 125,000 metric tons of rice is expected to be delivered to the country to further boost the supply and bring down prices.

The latest assurance about the rice situation came after President Duterte held a mini-Cabinet meeting aboard the presidential plane en route to Israel, according to Roque.

“Wala po tayong kakulangan sa bigas. Napakadaming supply at marami pang parating. Marami nang dumating, marami pang darating,” he said.

“Marami naman po talagang parating ng bigas, 125,000 metric tons ang parating. So, wala pong katotohanan na magkukulang tayo sa bigas,” he added.

To ensure stable rice supply, Roque said the President has authorized rice importation by the private sector beyond the minimum access volume. The country has an import quota of 805,200 metric tons of rice this year.

Roque said Duterte might also approve a proposal to open early the bidding for rice importation set for 2019. “Ang isang pamamaraan diyan ay iyong dapat angkatin sa 2019, eh paratingin na rin ngayong 2018; at mukhang magbibigay ng ganyang order po ang ating Presidente,” he said.