(To cushion shortage) DA opens rice outlet in Zambo PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 25 August 2018 14:14

by  BOB JALDON

Amidst an acute rice shortage that has seen the price of the staple soar to as high as P72 per kilo in Zamboanga City, the Department of Agriculture (DA) is opening today the “Tienda Bigasan ng Masa” rice outlet that will sell cheap rice.

As presidential spokesman Harry Roque announced in Manila the opening of the rice outlet to lower the prices of rice, Congressman Celso L. Lobregat (PDP-Laban) said the outlet is a “welcome development” that will boost the rice stock in the city.

Yesterday, Lobregat distributed rice in at least six barangays from the 80,000 bags of NFA rice that were shipped in this week. Tomorrow, another 80,000 bags of rice intended for Zamboanga City will be distributed to the other barangays, his spokesman said.

Agriculture Sec. Emmanuel Piñol will be on hand to open the rice outlet at the local pier and will personally distribute rice to local consumers

A check with the various supermarkets showed the dwindling supply of good commercial rice and the sharp increase in prices. The other day, the mayor declared a state of calamity after rice prices rose to P70 per kilo.

The rice crisis has prompted Sen. Francis Pangilinan, who at one time served as chairman of the National Food Authority (NFA), to call for a senate inquiry into the shortage.

As this developed, Mayor Maria Isabelle G. Climaco-Salazar expressed her gratitude for the opening of the Bigasan outlet. She thanked President  Duterte and Sec. Piñol for the shipment of rice through the NFA.

She went further to recommend the continued monitoring of rice by the City Agriculturist Office, in cooperation with the NFA, DA and the Department of Trade (DTI).

The mayor said that situational reports will be periodically submitted by the city agriculturist to the Office of the President and Sec. Piñol for their perusal. (Bob Jaldon)