News Release

PBBM vows to secure PH rice inventory amid tight regional supply

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Tuesday vowed to secure the country’s rice buffer stock as his administration addresses rice supply and prices in the midst of a buying spree among Asian neighbors in response to the looming El Niño phenomenon and other global events.

The President made the statement as he led the distribution in Zamboanga City of around 1,500 sacks of premium quality rice to various beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) during his visit to the National Food Authority (NFA)-Region IX warehouse.

“Titingnan po natin kung papaano na ang mga magiging pangangailangan ng ating mga kababayan para hindi natin masasabi na ginutom ang Pilipino dahil hindi sapat ang bigas,” the President said during the event.

“Ito po nakikita po ninyo. Ito yung mga nahuli. Ito po ‘yung mga iba na kakabili lang ng NFA nitong season na ito. Kaya’t nakikita ninyo, pupunuin nila itong warehouse. Dadagdagan natin. Gagawin nating mas malaki ang buffer stock para medyo mayroon… hindi natin dapat makita ang pagtaas ng mga presyo.”

The President assured the people of Zamboanga City that the government is doing everything to ensure their welfare and to open more opportunities for them so they could have comfortable lives.

The rice being distributed is part of the 42,180 smuggled sacks of rice worth PhP42 million forfeited by the Bureau of Customs-Port of Zamboanga (BOC-POZ) during its warehouse raid in Brgy. San Jose Gusu, Zamboanga City on September 15.

The commodity will be turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for distribution to its beneficiaries in the region.

This is in compliance with President Marcos’s marching orders to go after hoarders and illegal importers of rice, with the BOC-POZ promising to continue monitoring smuggling in the region.

During the program, President Marcos also led the distribution of various assistance from the Department of Agriculture (DA), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to intended beneficiaries.

Among those distributed include the PhP18.5-million DA-Philippine Rural Development Project Investment for Rural Enterprises and Agricultural and Fisheries Productivity (DA-PRDP I-REAP); PhP1.5-million DA KADIWA Financial Grant (Hauling Vehicle); PhP1-million DA KADIWA Financial Grant (Trading Capital); PhP1.5 million DA KADIWA Financial Grant (hauling vehicle and working capital); DA National Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture Program Greenhouse Hydroponic; and BFAR Assistance Certificate.

Also extended were the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/ Displaced Workers (TUPAD) worth PhP120 million and DOLE Livelihood Assistance amounting to PhP530,000. PND