KABAYAN Party-list Rep. Ciriaco Calalang has asked the National Food Authority to buy 10 to 15 days worth of commercial quality rice from local farmers and to seel the same at a loss if only to avert a “possible hunger disaster.”
Calalang issued the following statement:
“To prevent the greater evil of letting millions of Filipinos go hungry while waiting for the Palace-approved NFA rice imports to arrive, I appeal to the National Food Authority to buy from rice farmers at least 10 to 15 days’ worth of commercial-quality rice at commercial prices but sell these stocks at a loss at NFA rice price levels.
“NFA’s rice imports would take about 45 days or so to arrive and be distributed to the public markets. Current NFA rice inventories would run out before those imports come. Urgent and decisive action must be taken.
“The 10 to 15 days of commercial-quality rice stocks should be enough to bridge the gap between the current limited NFA rice inventory and the arrival of the NFA-imported rice.
“Now NFA must make sure, take steps so that the poor are the ones who will have access to these bridging rice stocks
“Avoiding hunger affecting hundreds of thousands of Filipino families is more important than the financial health of the NFA. The NFA can charge this loss to experience and as an extraordinary expense to avert a hunger disaster.
“I hope the Commission on Audit will understand the unusual nature of this situation and consider the fact that the welfare of the Filipino people especially the poor is paramount. ”