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Alvarado cooperates with NFA, DILG against rice 'hoarders'
Wednesday, 09 July 2014
CITY OF MALOLOS – Regional Development Council Chairman and Bulacan Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado is eager to cooperate with the National Food Authority (NFA) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) regarding the strict monitoring of the rice market against hoarders and unscrupulous rice traders after NFA rice hoarding in Bulacan was reported.

“Kailangan nating kumilos at bigyang pansin ang sitwasyong ito dahil hindi tama na marami sa mga kababayan natin ang nagugutom dahil sa mataas na presyo ng bilihin habang ang iba ay namamantala lamang,” Alvarado said.

The modus operandi of some warehouses in Bulacan were disclosed after being raided by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), Bulacan local officials, representatives of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the National Food Authority (NFA) and the Bureau of Customs.

Mixing imported rice from Thailand with broken rice intended for animal feeds and selling it off as premium commercial rice at higher prices, the operation of a warehouse in Tikay, Malolos--Purefeeds Corp. was temporarily suspended as charges are being prepared against the owner.

It was found out that the said warehouse was only authorized to engage in the business of commercial animal feeds and not rice.

Further, a warehouse in Marilao was also raided for repacking 100 sacks of NFA rice and selling it at a much costly price.

The NFA rice is currently being sold for P27 to P32 per kg but some rice traders were selling it for at least P40 to P45 kg because of its quality.

According to Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan, these practices are clear intent to deceive the buying public and the illegal repacking and hoarding of NFA rice is a clear violation of Republic Act No. 7581 or the Price Act Law, which is punishable by five to 15 years of imprisonment and can cost a business its accreditation and lead to its blacklisting.

Moreover, the NFA is closely monitoring the flow of rice from Intercity in Bocaue, Bulacan, which is the 60 percent source of commercial rice of Metro Manila markets. ###

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