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MAASIN CITY, April 16 (PIA) -- There is enough supply of rice for the needs of local government units (LGUs) in their relief operations during these times of a rare calamity, a nationwide emergency situation caused by the coronavirus disease reaching pandemic proportions.

This was the assurance of the National Food Authority (NFA) Southern Leyte Provincial Office, whose area of coverage comprised the whole province and the five adjoining municipalities of Leyte up to Baybay City.

“We have released over 32,000 bags of rice to different LGUs,” Lorna Ordiz, provincial manager, told newscaster Jade Nombrado in a live phone patch interview during the DYDM Balita Thursday morning.

Each bag or sack of rice the NFA sells is priced at P1,250 and the LGU customers paid in cash.

The NFA provincial office maintained three warehouses where their supplies are stocked, in Baybay, Saint Bernard, and at the back of the main office in barangay Canturing, this city.

Ordiz said the remaining stocks are about over 5,000 bags, but this has been reserved for the provincial LGU.

There will be a forthcoming delivery by last week of this month for 20,000 bags from Iloilo, Ordiz reported, allying worries on shortage.

Since last year, the food agency has been buying the produce of local farmers in the province and the neighbouring Leyte towns, and elsewhere around the country, and these stocks were already included in the current distribution, Ordiz said in a follow-up call by PIA.

For this year’s cropping season, the NFA buys at a higher price of P19 per kilo of dried palay, up from last year’s P17 per kilo, Ordiz also said.

But due to the present situation they coordinated with LGUs for transportation to reach out to farm producers, a request the concerned localities readily affirmed.

Ordiz called on the local rice farmers to contact her by text or call through her cellular mobile phone number 09175727674 if they have rice harvests to be sold, and her office will be the one to facilitate transportation with the help of the willing LGUs. (ldl/mmp/PIA8-Southern Leyte)