The national rice supply will last for 84 days or until the end of June. 

Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar gave the assurance as the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine remains enforced.

Dar pointed out that his earlier estimate of 75-day coverage has been extended with the yield increment from the Plant, Plant, Plant Program or the Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra Covid-19 of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

“With the implementation of the Plant, Plant, Plant Program, we are optimistic to produce an additional 9-day supply going into the lean months of July to September,” he said.

The agriculture chief foresees a total rice supply of 18 million metric tons (MMT) by year-end, which is roughly 18% more than this year’s demand of 14.67 MMT.

Palay production will be increased by year-end 22.12 million metric tons (MMT) with the help of the approved P8.5- billion fund for the Rice Resiliency Project (RRP) under the Plant, Plant, Plant Program. 

There are also rice imports with issued sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances (SPSICs) totaling 1.86 metric tons.

The DA says regions NCR, CAR, IV-A, VII, XI, and BARMM will not have insufficient rice supply by the end of this year but that this situation will be addressed by channeling surplus supplies from the remaining ten regions with surpluses.  (Jojo Mangahis)