Public urged: Don’t go into panic buying

The public must not resort to panic buying for basic commodities like rice as this will result in more problems, said Lester Romeo E. Malana, National Food Authority (NFA) XI director yesterday.

“Please do not (go into) panic (buying) because we (will) become domestic hoarders,” said Malana, pointing out that panic buying is when a buyer buys more than he or she usually buying.

He said that panic buying is when someone sees long lines in retail establishments, like the NFA buying stations, and then instead of buying the usual volume of produce, buys more because of the fear that either the commodity will be scarce or that prices will go up.

This will create an artificial higher demand which may even result in higher prices.

In buying NFA rice, a customer cannot go beyond five kilograms, more than double the previous limit of two kilograms.

Malana assured the public that there is enough supply of the staple until December as the agency has just completed unloading rice from Thailand and Vietnam.

There were 370,000 bags supposed to be unloaded in July, but this was delayed due to calamities. The volume would be divided among the five provinces of the region, Sarangani and General Santos City.

Another 370,000 bags are set to arrive by the second week of September.

“For this year, there are more or less 700,000 bags for this region. That will assure us of sufficient supply of NFA (rice),” said Malana.

Malana also bared that there is a 320,000 metric tons of buffer stock of rice intended for calamities.
Because there is enough supply, Malana said the agency has increased the supply of local retailers to 20%. “You can observe, there is lesser queueing (in NFA stations),” he said.

On prices of NFA rice, Malana said there is no significant increase monitored as the supply is sold between P27 and P32 a kilogram.

Posted in Business