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PH has sufficient supply of rice, corn, sugar, pork, chicken, egg and other basic necessities – DA

MANILA -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) assured on Tuesday of sufficient supply of rice, corn, sugar, pork, chicken and other basic necessities in the coming months despite the dry spell affecting the country.

“Secretary Kiko (Francisco Tiu) Laurel just briefed the President that all our crops commodities especially for rice and corn, pork and chicken were very stable and there will be no problem in the coming months. So, we don’t need to worry,” Agriculture Undersecretary Roger Navarro said in a press briefing in Malacañang.

Navarro made the statement after a sectoral meeting in Malacañang in which Laurel presented to President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. the supply outlook and measures being undertaken to ensure sufficient supply of basic agricultural commodities during El Niño.

Based on the Rice Supply and Demand Outlook for 2024, rice supply in the country will be stable until the end of the year with an annual average surplus of 3.7 million metric tons or 99 days of buffer or days to last.

For Corn, the supply will likewise be sufficient until the fourth quarter of 2024 with annual 42 days of buffer. The supply of pork will likewise be steady with annual surplus of 54 days while chicken supply is abundant with an annual stock that will last 181 days.

Eggs will also be adequate with an annual supply that will last 189 days. The same is true for onions, sugar and fish, according to Laurel.

With regard to rice supply, Navarro said it is important to ensure sufficient supply because any shortage will dramatically increase prices. He said the high price of rice is not only being experienced in the Philippines but in other countries including the rice-producing states such as Thailand and Vietnam because of the universal high prices of farm inputs such as fertilizer and seeds.

“Even if we have a small price or low price, if you do not have a supply, then we will have a problem. In other countries for example, in Vietnam, the price now is something like 48, and in Thailand is something like 52. So we are not far and they are supplying us with rice,” Navarro said.

“It’s better to have rice at P56 rather than no rice at P42. So, we need to also rationalize our thinking that we cannot bring down the price because the input prices especially for fertilizers and seeds in the international market are also going up the ceiling,” he said.

Among the interventions presented by the DA to the President to mitigate the effects of El Niño include close monitoring of the production status pf the commodities and prompt actions to avert eventualities, prepositions of interventions, procurement of commodities and sell them at reasonable prices in areas where there is shortage of supply or a need to effect changes in prevailing price and enhancement of credit availability and accessibility especially for young farmer and fisherfolk.

The DA is also constructing more cold storage facilities and warehouses to beef up postharvest facilities and cold examination facilities to enhance border controls.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration
(PAGASA) said in its advisory that the effects of strong El Niño are expected to highly impact parts of the country this February and will persist until May 2024.

Task Force El Niño, composed of multiple government agencies, is closely coordinating efforts to implement mitigating measures to stave off the effects of the dry spell. (PND)

About the Author

Andrea Bancud


Information II from the Creative Production Services Division of PIA Central Office who also writes scripts for IEC materials such as AVP, TV Commercial, Radio Commercial and print materials. 

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