“Thank you very much NFA!” This was the common reaction of the residents in Jomalig, the smallest and farthest island municipality of Quezon province  when NFA rice was delivered for the first time on July 23 to the 16 accredited rice outlets strategically located in the five barangays across the island municipality.

It took six hours by sea travel before the first batch of NFA rice deliveries reached the island of Jomalig.  But what made the six-hour sea transport of the rice deliveries more difficult was Typhoon Josie coupled with Habagat.  The situation did not deter NFA from performing its stabilization mandate of ensuring that affordable rice is accessible even to the remotest island municipality of the province.

The rice was transported via water vessels across Lamon Bay, and carried manually to the shore and loaded in carts for delivery to accredited rice outlets with an average distance of two kilometers away.

The outlets are Bigasang Bayan and Tindahan sa Parokya, both dedicated NFA rice outlets and 14 other individually operated Bigasang Bayan outlets. Dedicated outlets get a weekly allocation of 50 bags while individual operators get 10 bags.

Provincial Apolinario J. Buerano of the NationaL Food Authority in Infanta, Quezon allowed the withdrawal of a two-week rice allocation of these accredited outlets upon the request of Jomalig Mayor Rodel Espiritu to ensure a continuous supply of cheap NFA rice in the island municipality during this rainy season. The island is usually isolated during stormy periods because of big waves in the Pacific Ocean.

More than 500 families will  benefit from the continuous supply of low-priced NFA rice in the island municipality.

Meanwhile, there are now 2,494 accredited NFA rice outlets in Region IV. These  include those in the island municipalities of Infanta-335, Marinduque-301, Occidental Mindoro-260, Oriental Mindoro-319, Palawan-160 and Romblon-243. These are strategically positioned in public markets, barangays and resettlement areas ready to serve the rice requirements of the marginalized and indigenous people of the region.

NFA rice being carried manually from the vessel to the shore

The NFA rice is delivered to the market outlets using a cart

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