MANILA - A party-list lawmaker on Tuesday urged the House of Representatives to investigate a shortage in government-subsidized rice.
Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano sought the probe through House Resolution 1648 after the National Food Authority (NFA) admitted that its buffer stock of rice is only good for 2 days, far from the 15-day buffer stock requirement at any given time.
"This, along with the steep price of rice in the current market, displays severe inefficiency on the part of the NFA. Further, this betrays their mandate of ensuring food security and stable rice supply in the country," Alejano said in a statement.
The NFA cannot control the prices of commercial rice, which costs about P36 to P41 per kilo, but it offers more affordable rice at P27 to P32 per kilo.
Relief operations for victims of unrest and typhoons last year, however, depleted the NFA buffer stock, said agency spokesperson Becky Olarte told ABS-CBN News.
The NFA proposed to import 250,000 metric tons of grain to replenish their supply in November 2017, but an inter-agency council has yet to approve the request, she said.
Senator Cynthia Villar had said she will call for a separate Senate investigation into the issue.