NFA to double rice supply in Metro Manila amid price hike

Posted at 06/18/2014 7:59 PM | Updated as of 06/19/2014 10:07 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The National Price Coordinating Council (NPCC) called for an emergency meeting on Wednesday to discuss rising prices of several commodities widely consumed by Filipinos, which include rice, garlic, sugar, and ginger.

Commercial rice prices have gone up by around P3 per kilo and millers have warned it may further increase in the next weeks.

The National Food Authority (NFA) plans to double its rice supply for Metro Manila to 20,000 bags to give consumers an option.

NFA deputy administrator Ludovico Jarina said consumers have a choice in buying quality but cheaper rice if their budgets won't allow the commercial rice variety.

But the NPCC has recommended to also increase to more than double the nationwide daily release of NFA rice of 4,000 metric tons.

“Ang tao kasi may choice na, nandiyan ‘yung P27 ng NFA, nandiyan ang P32, so kung gusto nila ng mahal at magandang klase, doon sila sa special,” said Jarina.

Meanwhile, Philippine Association of Broiler Integrators president Rita Imelda Palabyab said chicken prices are also going up.

But Palabyab clarified that in a month's time, prices will return to normal.

“I think within a month it will normalize because the retail price does not reflect the wholesale price increase,” said Palabyab.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has given the go signal for several milk brands to raise prices by up to 8 percent starting July 1.

“Tumaas ang world price ng gatas eh, tumaas yata ang demand ng China,” said Trade Sec. Gregory Domingo.

However, some supermarkets already raised prices as early as June 1. Their price increase is even higher than what was approved by DTI.

The DTI is studying a proposal by manufacturers to hike canned good prices but it already turned down the plea of bottled water producers to raise prices. -- Report from Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News