As Super Typhoon Maysak or Chedeng threatens to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) this week, Office of the Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization (OPAFSAM) and National Food Authority (NFA) assured the public that there is sufficient stocks in its warehouses especially in areas along its path.
NFA Administrator Renan B. Dalisay said that the food agency has a total rice inventory of 9,690,508 bags as of March 31, 2015 which is equivalent to15 days consumption based on 31,000 metric tons national daily rice consumption requirement.
Dalisay has alerted the NFA regional and provincial offices along the typhoon path to keep the warehouses open to serve the rice requirements of local governments units and relief agencies for their relief operations. He said that the food agency, as part of its standard operating procedures for disaster preparedness, has made arrangements with LGUs and various relief agencies that they can purchase rice on credit sales under a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).
“It is unfortunate for a typhoon to threaten us at the start of summer and harvest season. We have to make sure that the produce our farmers have worked so hard for will not just be blown away by the typhoon and soak their income,” Food Security Secretary Pangilinan said. Based on the forecast of Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, the typhoon is expected to make a landfall over central or southern Luzon, hitting Metro Manila as well.
NFA warehouses in these areas have already stockpiled for food security stocks, as part of its buffer stock management even before Typhoon Chedeng enters PAR. NFA rice inventory in Region 1 stands at 668,462 bags; Region 2 at 509,796 bags ; Region 3 at 1,263,627 bags; Region 4 at 1,424,600 bags; Region 5 at 350,265 bags and National Capital Region at 1,338,106 bags.
As part of the preparations, Dalisay said that depot areas have also been identified to supply the rice requirements in areas to be affected by the typhoon in case the stocks in these warehouses deplete. He said that all NFA Provincial Operations Center (OPCEN) in the areas expected to be hit by the typhoon have been alerted to reactivate on a 24-hour to monitor the situation in their areas and act on complaints and feedback.
Secretary Kiko Pangilinan also gave instructions to harvest the remaining 30 percent of standing crop in Regions 1-5.
Based from the data gathered from NFA regional offices most likely to be to hit by Typoong Chedeng as forecasted by PAGASA, Region 1 has a total harvest of 6,389,174 bags, Region 2 with 7,875.200 bags, Region 3 with 13, 859, 800 bags, Region 4 with 20, 789, 700 bags, and Region 5 with 2,000,500 bags.
An estimated total of 70 percent of the harvest for the summer season is completed.
“OPAFSAM and NFA stand ready to shoulder this threat alongside our farmers and ensure that, in the scenario of damaged crops, our farmers will have the support they need to weather the storm,” Secretary Pangilinan assured the farmers.