As if the pork barrel scam and the Zamboanga siege are not enough woes the country is facing today, now comes some unscrupulous business people trying to jack up the price of rice that always affect the eating public – no matter in what socioeconomic status you belong.
Being affected, I strongly denounce the culprits who are behind this wicked and rotten scam that seems to be timed when people are feeling down and miserable and takes the most advantage out of it. These are the scums of the earth that enjoys preying in the misery of others.
I really wouldn’t be complaining about it if it was legitimate or that the situation demands it to be so because there is shortage in the supply of rice. Nothing one can do about the economics basics of supply and demand.
But when government agencies like the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the National Food Authority (NFA) assures the nation that there is no rice shortage to justify the high price of commercial rice because the government and the private sector have made sure that there are enough stocks to last way past the lean season, then something is wrong that could only happen when somebody corrupt starts manipulating/orchestrating the scenario of having a rice shortage.
“We have 638,000 metric tons available. With private inventory and the households, we have 1.7 million metric tons available, equivalent to 51 days,” NFA Administrator Orlan Calayag.
He said the rule in the NFA is to have at least a 30-day buffer stock at the start of the lean months, and with the latter coming to an end, the government has a “comfortable” 15-day buffer stock. Calayag said the stock is considered “one of the highest,” compared to previous years.
“We see no shortage in terms of production. In the past months, we talked to rice traders and they asked for help because their rice inventory is up to the ceiling already and has yet to be milled. We went to them and even last month, before this [shortage] issue cropped up, we have documentation that they have the inventory,” Calayag said.
On his part, DA Secretary Proceso J. Alcala dispelled speculation that the government would import more rice, saying, “all the necessary rice importation had been completed in June.”
So, why the high price of rice then?
I hate to use the word “syndicate” because some senators implicated in the scandalous pork scam has used it already in defense of their names being mentioned, as if they didn’t know, but anyhow, let me just ask, “Is there a syndicate behind the rice price scam”?
Both Alcala and Calayag have some serious snooping to do to find out.