BUKIDNON PROVINCIAL CAPITOL , 7 April 2020 | NFA-10 Regional Director John Robert R. Hermano and Provincial Manager Beverly M. Navarro of NFA Bukidnon attended the 26th Sanggunian Panlalawigan Session on April 7 called by Vice Governor Rogelio Quiño to address the pressing issues concerning NFA rice buffer stocks amidst the COVID pandemic.
When asked if NFA sells to individual consumer, Dir. Hermano explained that NFA does not anymore sell to individual consumers. Under the Rice Tariffication Law (RA11203), the rice procured from local farmers are intended only for disaster and calamity relief distribution through government relief agencies such as Department of Social Welfare & Development (DSWD) and its local offices (MSWD/CSWD), Local Government Units (LGUs), Office of Civil Defense (OCD), and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).
Director Hermano clarified that the agency does not sell palay. The office buys palay from the farmers and have these milled by qualified miller-contractors, adopting the standard technical specifications of the agency to produce well-milled rice at a minimum of 63% recovery. Palay withdrawal for milling should be covered by a cash bond.
He said, “However, before we enter into contract with rice millers, we require test milling so as to determine the efficiency of their rice mill facilities.”
In the presence of Governor José María Rubín Zubiri Jr., Dir. Hermano detailed the procedures in addressing the pressing rice requirements of DSWD/CSWD/MSWD and LGUs in their relief operations in the light of any calamity affecting the province
and/or the whole Northern Mindanao, mentioning such other concern as: creation of
more storage spaces in warehouses in preparation for the palay procurement; roll-over of funds adopting the buy-mill-sell strategy through government relief agencies; and maintenance for conservation of the quality of the buffer rice stocks.
The NFA-10 Director emphasized in the vernacular: “Gusto po naming mawala ang stigma na natanim sa isipan ng mga tao tungkol sa NFA rice na ‘mabaho at mababang kalidad’. Itong bigas ng NFA na ipinamimigay ng DSWD at LGUs ngayon ay newly milled rice from the palay we procured since last harvest season. Well milled rice ito na kung bibilhin sa merkado ay aabot ng P40 bawat kilo.
When asked why the agency did not improve its facilities by adding more warehouses and acquiring ricemills and other postharvest facilities, Dir Hermano explained that the office is undergoing restructuring and the personnel complement yet to be determined by Governance Commission For Government-Owned or Controlled Corporations (GCG). Once the restructured organization is approved, NFA will come up with a Facility Rationalization Plan###