NFA rice now available in Zambonga Peninsula
After five long months, the government subsidized rice sold by the National Food Authority (NFA) has finally arrived in Zamboanga City, according to Department of Agriculture (DA).
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said a total of 120,000 bags has been allocated for the Zamboanga Peninsula, including the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawitawi.
The arrival of the NFA rice caused prices of commercial rice to fall from as high as P70 per kilo to only about P50 to P55 per kilo in the market.
Piñol said prices of rice in Zamboanga City and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawitawi shot up following the successful campaign of both the Philippine and Malaysian governments to curb smuggling and address the movement of members of terror groups in the southern backdoor of the country.
“These areas have for so long relied on smuggled imported rice brought in from Sandakan, Sabah by small boats which sail to the different islands and the Zamboanga Peninsula to unload the cargo,” Piñol said.
“With the successful campaign of the Duterte Administration against smuggling, the taps suddenly ran dry for the region, a situation which was made worse by the absence of NFA rice in the market because of the delay in the importation,” he added.