June 26, 2008 · Posted in: Image Galleries, In the News

A different storm

BEFORE typhoon Frank ravaged much of Western Visayas and Metro Manila over the weekend, and leaving in its trail yet another maritime tragedy with the sinking of Sulpicio Lines’s M/V Princess of the Stars, Filipinos were already hard-pressed at weathering an economic storm brought about by soaring prices of oil, electricity, and food commodities, primarily rice.

[kml_flashembed movie=”http://pcij.org/blog/wp-galleries/davao.swf” height=”326″ width=”450″ /]

A rice supply shortage, which the government was not even forthright about when it was looming, has now become a nationwide crisis that could get worse with the damage to farms and crops wrought by the recent typhoon on the rice-producing provinces of Western Visayas like Iloilo, Aklan, and Capiz. (The region is a net rice exporter to other parts of the country. Panay Island alone, according to Senator Mar Roxas who hails from Capiz, provides about 10 percent of the country’s rice supply.)

Last week, commercial rice prices reached record highs of P51 per kilo in Mindanao that triggered the long queues for cheap rice sold at National Food Authority (NFA) retail stores.

Davao-based photojournalist Keith Bacongco (AKP Images) contributes the series of photos above he took of residents lining up at the Bankerohan public market in the wake of the price increases. Some waited as early as one in the morning to avail of the rather elusive staple from retailers, who only open at 7:30 a.m. every day to sell two-kilo bags per buyer. A tag system was improvised to prioritize the “early birds,” while the elderly among the buyers had to be segregated so that they would not be trampled upon in the long lines at the market.

1 Response to A different storm


nosi balasi

June 27th, 2008 at 12:39 pm

just a little naughty…i suggest journalist should investigate the warehouses of all the metro manila and other provincial town mayors…probably they may see thousand cavans of rice with their election slogans printed on each sack/bag of rice.

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