The House Committee on Food and Agriculture is conducting a hearing today on the shortage of rice from the National Food Authority (NFA) in the local market.
The investigation comes as a result of 17 petitions received by the committee from House members.
The NFA has failed to supply to local retailers the NFA rice sold at a minimum of P 27 per kilo.
Its depleted buffer stock is expected to be replenished in June when the new shipments of imported rice will arrive.
The NFA Council has approved this week the additional importation of 250,000 metric tons of rice.
The NFA was criticized after NFA Director Rex Estoperez suggested the agency can stop selling the cheaper variant of rice and just sell the subsidized rice that are worth P 32 per kilo.
Bayan Muna Party-list Representative Carlos Zarate said this scheme runs counter to the mandate of the agency.
Zarate reminded the NFA that its job is to stabilize the supply and prices of rice in retail outlets.