Amid leaner role, NFA finds crucial task in Taal disaster
The National Food Authority (NFA) has allocated 2,000 bags of rice for distribution in the affected municipalities in Batangas and nearby provinces as families continue to stay in evacuation areas more than a week since the Taal Volcano erupted and blanketed nearby areas with thick ashfall.
NFA Administrator Judy Carol Dansal said the initial donation would be distributed by the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) where thousands of evacuees are situated.
“This is our own commitment as an agency to also take part in helping the victims of the eruption. We are praying that the disaster will be over soon. But until then, we are giving you our word that NFA is ready to provide rice for the relief operations,” she said.
The Rice Tariffication Law, which was implemented last year, removed the commercial and regulatory functions of the NFA but tasked it with keeping a buffer stock enough for 30 days to be released in times of disasters.
According to the DA, the nation’s collective rice stocks could last for more than 90 days given the free flow of imported rice coming into the country.
The Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology continues to monitor Taal.
Since Jan. 12, the agency has already plotted a total of 731 volcanic earthquakes while alert level 4 remains up. This means a violent eruption may still occur within hours or days.
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