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NFA finally brings rice to Batanes

BASCO, Batanes, Philippines – A Philippine Air Force cargo plane arrived here shortly before noon Saturday to bring government rice to the 13,000 residents of this northernmost province.

The C-130 Hercules cargo plane arrived from Villamor Air Base in Pasay City with 400 bags of rice from the National Food Authority (NFA) central warehouse in Manila.

The plane, under the command of Capt. Michael Tabat, braved the rains and cloudy skies to make a safe landing at the government airport here.

Local residents have had no rice on their tables since three weeks ago when the NFA ran out of stocks.

Melad Enterprises, which sells commercial rice here, earlier had run out of stocks, too.

The situation arose from the lack of shipments due to the inclement weather.

The M/V Transcend, which is under contract with NFA to transport the monthly rice requirements of the province, went into dry dock last October.

Rice brought in by commercial planes from Manila and Tuguegarao City, Cagayan costs four times than that transported by boat.

On hand to welcome the rice delivery were Rep. Henedina Abad, NFA chief Francisco Escalona, and Basco airport chief Wilfredo Cabitac.

Abad said the airlift was made possible through the representations of Agriculture Secretary Proseco Alcala with the Armed Forces.

Each family is allocated two kilos of rice, Escalona said.
By Jack Castaño III The Philippine Star Updated January 02, 2012 12:00 AM


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