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IMPORTED RICE. National Food Authority Grains Operations Officer III Roem Precioso (right) inspects the bags of imported rice from Vietnam unloaded at the Bredco port in Bacolod City. (Photo courtesy of NFA-Negros Occidental)

BACOLOD CITY -- The National Food Authority (NFA) in Negros Occidental awaits the completion of the unloading of 79,000 bags of rice from Vietnam, which is the third and last import allocation for the province for 2018.

Frisco Canoy, provincial manager of NFA-Negros Occidental, said as of Sunday, a total of 58,461 bags were already unloaded and stored in warehouses in the province.

The 79,000 bags shipped via MV Han Binh 16 and arrived at the Bredco Port here last December 30.

Canoy said the vessel started discharging the stocks only on January 19 and on January 27, a total of 14,321 bags have been unloaded.

“If the good weather continues, the unloading of the remaining 20,539 bags will be completed in two days,” he added.

The previous stocks came from Myanmar and Thailand, which delivered the final shipment last November.

Records showed that of the 160,000 bags of rice from Myanmar shipped via MV Tan Binh 79, only 159,739 bags were considered good stocks and fully unloaded on January 19.

The NFA does not accept “bad order” stocks from the supplier thus, unloading activity is suspended during rains as the rice may be damaged if wet.

Canoy said that in terms of distribution, the NFA-Negros Occidental is implementing a “first in, first out” scheme.

They have yet to complete the distribution of all stocks from Myanmar before those from Vietnam could reach the market, he pointed out.

He added that with the present volume of available government rice in Negros Occidental, the weekly allocation for retailers has returned to normal.

During the last two quarters of 2018 when the buffer stocks were limited, the allocation was based on the availability of stocks and the level of need of an area.

For major markets in Bacolod City, the NFA-Negros Occidental is currently distributing 140 bags per week.

Those in markets outside Bacolod are receiving a weekly allocation of 80 bags while those outside markets, like stores in the barangay level, are getting 60 bags every week.

Some 113 “Tagpuan” centers in Negros Occidental with a weekly allocation of 50 bags were also reactivated. (PNA)

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