Palay stocks sufficient but lack of rice mill workers — traders

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Rose Dalangin (right), president of Golden City Business Park in Bocaue, Bulacan, assures the public that there is enough palay supply to provide the market with enough rice supply, however, there is a need for rice mill workers to reach their places of work for the continues rice production processes. (Photo by Ramon Efren Lazaro)

BOCAUE, Bulacan – Rice traders at the Golden City Business Park (GCBP) and Intercity Industrial Estate in this town assure the public of enough palay stocks, however, many rice mill workers fail to report to work that impedes palay processing into rice products.

The business park and industrial estate in this town are the rice major trading centers in Luzon and many rice-milling operations are hampered by the total ban on public transportations and strict community quarantine checkpoints in the municipal, city and barangay boundaries in Bulacan.

Rose Dalangin, president of GCBP, told the RONDA BALITA Online during the interview on Friday (March 20) that for the last three days, many rice mill workers have failed to report for duties since many have a hard time in getting a public transport ride and also have no proper documents.

“So we issued our workers with identification cards and certificate of employment, but the problem now is that these workers cannot commute to their workplaces causing many rice mills to stop operations,” Dalangin said.

She is appealing to concerned government agencies to provide these workers with transportation services from going to and returning to their homes or the rice milling industry suffers a production slowdown that may create an artificial rice shortages in the market and spike the prices of the staple food.

Meanwhile, Roderico Sulit, GCBP spokesperson, also noted that many rice mills have temporarily ceased to operate because its rice husk (ipa) storages have reached its limit capacity forcing its operators to shut down its operations because the rice husks will find its way to the processed rice products.

Many rice husk truckers have also stopped hauling operations since many of its customers have stopped operations during the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine for Luzon.

Besides these, palay and rice bran (darak) haulers are finding hard times in passing through checkpoints especially when their trucks are empty and on their way to pick their commodities to deliver to the rice trading centers in Bocaue, Sulit noted.

Since the palay harvest season is currently picking up, Sulit assures the buying public that rice trading centers in Bocaue has enough grain inventories and no possible shortages are expected in the near future.

However, there is a need for the rice mills to continue its operations for the public to have enough supply in the market, Sulit pointed out.

He also appeals to consumers “ Bilin lang ang kailangan, huwag masyadong sobra sa kanilang pangangailangan para hindi magkaroon ng sudden demand for rice that will lead to artificial rice crisis.

Overall, Sulit assures the public that the rice traders in Bocaue will do their best to continue their rice milling operations to provide the market with enough rice despite these setbacks in the labor force and trucking services. (RONDA BALITA Online)

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