Recently, it has been all over the news that prices of rice in the southern part of the Philippines have been skyrocketing despite the claims of the Department of Agriculture that we were attaining 100% rice-sufficiency. Early this year, exporting rice to our neighboring Asian and western countries started, which signified that the goal to achieve rice-sufficiency for the country was at hand. However, prices of rice in some parts of Mindanao and the Visayas region rose. People were now questioning the claims of the government about the self-sufficiency for rice of the country. They viewed this increase in rice prices as a shortage in supple of the staple. Despite of these allegations thrown by different groups against the government, Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said the there was enough rice for the country.

“There is no reason to panic. We are expecting that rice prices will normalize in a few days, as palay harvest is starting, particularly in major rice producing provinces,” Secretary Alcala said. The harvest season was expected to be this coming October, and some farmers have already started reaping palay in their own farms during the past weeks, especially in the northern part of the country. DA officials visited Isabela to see farmers harvesting palay. Isabela was expected to produce more than 167,700 metric tons this September, while the entire Cagayan Valley region was expected to harvest 264,700 MT of palay from over 61,450 hectares this third quarter.

National Food Authority (NFA) Administrator Orlan Calayag said “the NFA inventory is bigger this year, compared to the same period last year, and so we don’t foresee any shortage.” This means that rice would still be affordable, or would even have lower prices. The government also warned groups who were manipulating prices and supply of rice to beware.

Link to the news:

Bamba, John Ray
Canovas, Raphael
Lee, Sohyun
Pascual, Emmanuel Gerardo

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