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Marcos eyes increased rice buffer stock in NFA warehouses

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. is aiming to increase the buffer stock of rice in National Food Authority (NFA) warehouses to control price surge.

This as Marcos led the distribution of around 1,500 sacks of premium quality rice to various beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) during his visit to the NFA - Region IX warehouse on Tuesday.

"Ito po 'yung mga nahuli, ito po 'yung mga kakabili lang ng NFA sa season na 'to. Kaya't makikita niyo, pupunuin natin itong warehouse, dadagdagan natin. Gagawin nating mas malaki ang buffer stock para medyo hindi na natin makita ang pagtaas ng mga presyo," Marcos said in his message.

(You'll see that we will fill the warehouses with rice, we will add more buffer stock so that we will avoid price increase.)

The rice that was distributed was part of the 42,180 smuggled sacks of rice worth P42 million that were forfeited by authorities during a warehouse raid in Barangay San Jose Gusu, Zamboanga City on September 15, 2023.

The sacks of rice will be turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for distribution to its beneficiaries in the region.

Marcos, who also currently heads the Department of Agriculture (DA), met with the NFA Council on Monday as price range for buying palay was set in order to improve the income of local farmers.

The President said that it was decided that the buying price of dry palay would be P19 to P23 while wet palay would be from P16 to P19.

Marcos said the NFA Council set the buying price range to give Filipino farmers better income, adding that the originally proposed P20 and P25 buying price range is too high and will increase retail prices.

The NFA Council noted that if the new buying price of dry palay is at P23, the procurement fund needed will be P15 billion at the maximum, while if it is pegged at P25, P16 billion will be needed for palay purchase. —KBK, GMA Integrated News