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Hagedorn assures enough rice supply for 10,000 Palarong Pambansa delegates PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 April 2008

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, April 8 (PNA) - Mayor Edward Hagedorn has assured that there will be enough rice to feed the more than 10,000 delegates attending the Palarong Pambansa scheduled on April 20 to 26 here.

Hagedorn, in a radio interview here Monday, said at least two sacks of rice will be given to each of the 17 regional delegations taking part in the country’s biggest sports event.

“This is to prove our support to the 2008 Palarong Pambansa, which we hope will be the most successful and the most memorable ever,” declared Hagedorn to allay fears that the rice crisis which hit the country for the second time since 1995 may affect the staging of the multi-event tournament which Puerto Princesa City will be hosting for the first time.

In addition to the city’s free rice provision, the Department of Education will give P2 million each to the regional delegations to cover food, competition uniforms and transportation expenses.

Likewise, the National Food Authority (NFA) in Palawan assured that there is affordable and sufficient supply of rice, even for the province’s remote island municipalities.

NFA-Palawan manager Prudencio Tayko gave the assurance to the members of the provincial board (PB) in Tuesday’s question and answer hour held at the Capitol’s legislative building here.

Tayko, who was invited to appear in the board to clarify issues regarding the reported rice shortage in the province and in the country, said that NFA warehouses in Puerto Princesa and in the municipalities of Narra, Brooke’s Point and Coron have sufficient supply of rice and it is available to the consumers through various Tindahan Natin and Bigasan ng Bayan outlets.

He said the NFA rice, which is still pegged at P18.25, is also available in the Calamianes Island Group (Coron, Culion, Busuanga and Linapacan) and other remote island municipalities like Cagayancillo, Araceli, Dumaran, Cuyo and Magsaysay.

But he admitted that some NFA accredited rice retailers are affected by the high transportation cost, which he said, needs local government units' (LGU) intervention.

Tayko stressed that approximately 250,000 bags of rice are being programmed for shipment in NFA-Palawan this year from its Batangas, the depot for rice supplies for Region 4-A (Mimaropa) and Region 4-B (Calabazon).

He said of the number, 50,000 bags of rice are expected to arrive within this week.

Tayko further said that his office has been actively involved in the government's hunger mitigation and poverty alleviation program in coordination with other agencies.

The NFA provincial office also helps in uplifting the economic condition of the poor, where they support the government's nutrition campaign by distributing iron-fortified rice particularly for the Food for School Program of the Department of Education for pre-school and Grade I students.

In the same occasion, Provincial Agriculturist Dr. Nelson Salvador shared the statement of Tayko that there is no rice shortage in Palawan.

Salvador cited that Provincial Agriculture Office showed that the province has a surplus of 41,868 metric tons of rice based on its rice production of P129,868 metric tons during the wet and dry season harvest period last year.

In the same period, he said that a total of 74,032 hectares were planted with rice and produced some 161,437 metric tons.

Salvador said that last year, a total of 272,807 sacks of rice were shipped outside the province by retailers to the nearby provinces of Iloilo, Cebu and Negros Occidental and Oriental. (By Alex Villanueva Jr.  / PNA)


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