The National Food Authority (NFA) is importing an additional 133,500 metric tons (MT) of rice for Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi (Zambasulta).
In an emailed statement on Tuesday, the NFA said the importation intends to boost the remaining supply stock in the area.
“Delivery for the 33,500 MT is set for September 15-30 and 100,000 MT should arrive between October 1 and November 30, 2018,” it said.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said on Monday that Zambasulta is the only area in the country experiencing rice shortage, which the NFA is monitoring.
Also on Monday, the NFA said it was able to beef up the supply of government-subsidized rice in Zamboanga to 4,000 bags a day from 2,000 bags previously.
“The rice crisis in Zamboanga has been declared solved, but NFA continues to distribute its P27/kilogram well-milled rice in the market even as cheaper commercial rice stocks are also flooding in,” the NFA said.
The NFA will continue to provide additional supply to retailers and offer consumers with more affordable alternatives.
“The NFA shall also allocate additional rice stocks to the Zambasulta provinces to provide consumers more sources of low-priced good quality NFA rice at P27/kg.”
In May, the Philippines ordered 250,000 MT of rice—130,000 MT from Vietnam and 120,000 MT from Thailand.
It announced an additional importation of 250,000 MT with private trading companies.
The NFA said, however, that shipments have yet to be fully released to retailers given inclement weather conditions in the country.