SAN MIGUEL, Bulacan — The rice allocation of cheap National Food Authority (NFA) rice allocated to accredited rice retailers in Bulacan has been sliced by half.
NFA accredited rice retailers in Bulacan numbering more than 300 were initially each allocated with 10 cavans per week of cheap imported rice from Vietnam and the Tagpuan Day Rice Response Delivery rolling stores at 50 sacks per week.
However, Elvira Obana, NFA-Bulacan manager, explained to RONDA Balita Online News that they have to cut these allocation down to five sacks per accredited rice retailer per week and to 25 cavans per week to Tagpuan Day rolling stores.
The weekly rice allocations to these store have to be cut drastically to extend the availability of cheap NFA rice to its intended beneficiaries as the unloading of the rice shipments docked in Subic Bay is being hampered by inclement weather.
Obana has also issued stern warnings to all NFA-accredited rice retailers to refrain from passing the cheap rice valued at P27 per kilo for the 25 percent broken grain and P32 for the 15 percent broken grain as commercial rice being sold at more than P40 per kilo or face the full force of the law.
“Those found engaging in rebagging and or mixing of NFA rice faces stiff penalties, possible cancelations of their licenses and worse jailed depending on the gravity of their offences,” Obana said.
Earlier, Obana said the initial rice stock that reached Bulacan on June 22 were 3,000 sacks of 25 percent broken rice and 13,000 sacks of 15 percent broken rice from the 100,000 total allocations intended for Bulacan till this month.
With the initial rice allocation delivered to rice retailers, a surprised rice inspection was conducted by Obana and NFA inspectors in Malolos and Calumpit public and discovered several violations committed by some accredited and non-accredited rice retailers.
Among them were Anatalia Valentin, president of the Malolos Grains Retailers Association who has two NFA accredited stores wherein one of her outlet has no NFA rice stocked on its designated box and non-display of NFA tarpaulin indicating the sale of the subsidized rice in their store.
Some rice dealers like Marites Jimenez was also found to have expired grain licenses while Felix Paguiligan has posted NFA control number in front of his store but registered to other individuals.
The violators were given stern warnings by Obana and were summoned to go to the NFA office in Malolos to explain their violations and were ordered to pay corresponding fines.
On the other hand, Jaime Hadlocon, NFA Central Luzon assistant regional director, explained that there are three shiploads with 500,000 sacks of cheap rice that are docked in Subic Bay that has yet totally unloaded its cargoes due to bad weather conditions. (RONDA Balita Online News)