THE Philippines has been importing about 10 percent of its rice needs in the past few decades.

AGRI Party-list Representative Orestes T. Salon on Tuesday filed House Resolution No. 1659 calling for an inquiry into the shortage of rice supplied by the National Food Authority.

“What’s the real score on the country’s rice supply?,” Salon asked, in light of what he said are confusing statements from the food agency.

Salon said there is a need to verify all the statements aired by the NFA.

“A spokesperson says the agency has only two days’ supply left, while another says it will still last for 35 days. These statements have been released all on the same day,” he said.

Salon also said that allegations by groups such as Bantay Bigas that the NFA is raising a false alarm to justify its bid to import rice should be investigated.

He also reiterated that importation should always be the last option in addressing the issue.

“We should balance the welfare of our own farmers with the need to provide affordable rice in our efforts to solve any alleged rice shortage,” Salon said.

Salon also urged the public to come forward and report any increase in the price of rice in their areas resulting from the shortage.

“We want to have a more complete picture, so we need the public and our watchdogs to report price increases or any other development,” he said.

 

PR/p-jhd

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