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UNTV EXCLUSIVE: DA, NFA launch crackdown vs. rice hoarders; inspect warehouses in Bulacan

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Saturday, September 1st, 2018

 

BULACAN, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the National Food Authority (NFA) launched the first joint operation against rice hoarding by raiding a row of warehouses in Marilao, Bulacan Friday night (August 31).

The operation, spearheaded by Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol and NFA Administrator Jason Aquino, discovered over 100,000 sacks of imported rice in one warehouse and about 50,000 sacks of rice in another.

According to Piñol, the owner of the rice storage incurred violations of NFA standards for warehouses.

“Here at Fedcor compound in Marilao, Bulacan it is apparent that three big warehouses, unmarked, would have an estimated 100,000 bags of rice, imported rice. This is already a violation because warehouses supervised by the NFA are supposed to have billboards announcing that these are NFA warehouses. The first warehouse that we opened contained rice about 50,000 bags,” he said during an operation exclusively covered by UNTV.

The Agriculture Secretary said the operation is part of the DA’s “Report a Hoarder” campaign, which he first announced earlier on Friday (August 31) which offers a cash reward of P250,000 for every report about hoarding activity that is verified and validated.

“We are expecting that we will be able to send the message across. This will be done nationwide. Now that DA and NFA have joined hands in implementing this campaign, we expect successes along the way,” he added.

Secretary Piñol said the campaign will be done nationwide in view of stabilizing the supply of rice in the market.

He warned traders and dealers to release their stocks and do away with hoarding as both agencies are determined to run after them.

“Better release your stocks now because the moment we inspect your warehouses and we see your stock, the government could confiscate your stocks and that could lead to a lot of penalties,” the Secretary warned. – Rey Pelayo / Marje Pelayo

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GIS EXCLUSIVE: DA’s Piñol relieves 2 NFA execs in Region 3

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, September 24th, 2018

Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol during his interview with UNTV’s Get it Straight with Daniel Razon

 

QUEZON CITY, Philippines –Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol has relieved from their positions the Region 3 director of the National Food Authority (NFA) and the agency’s manager in Bulacan.

This was after the Secretary discovered hundreds of thousands of rice bags inside big warehouses in their area during a surprise inspection in Marilao, Bulacan.

“Today, actually I have ordered the relief of the director in Region 3, NFA. And I have also ordered the relief of the manager of NFA Bulacan. Sapagkat ako, hindi ako naniniwala na hindi nila alam kung ang bodega diyan na may itinatagong bigas,” Piñol said during an interview with the program “Get it Straight with Daniel Razon” on Monday (September 24).

Based on its website, the agency’s regional director for Region 3 is Piolito C. Santos and the NFA’s manager for Bulacan is Elvira C. Obaña.

The DA has previously announced a P250,000 bounty for whoever who could provide information against rice hoarding in the country.

During the interview, Secretary Piñol also announced his plan to formalize the creation of a task force that will conduct a nationwide inspection of warehouses in the country.

The task force will be headed by the current head of DA’s Internal Affairs Division retired Marine Colonel Danilo Luna.

The team will be working with representatives from the DILG, PNP, and BOC among others.

According to Secretary Piñol, the move is part of DA’s intensified crackdown against rice hoarders.

Those who will be caught hoarding rice supply will have their stocks confiscated and are likely to face life imprisonment for charges of economic sabotage. – Rey Pelayo / Marje Pelayo

 

 

 

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Commercial rice prices seen to go down in November

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, September 17th, 2018

 

Rice traders are able to sell around 100 sacks of NFA rice in a day but can only manage to dispose three to five sacks of commercial rice daily.

As harvest season begins, the price of palay is expected to go down from P25 per kilo to P18-P22 by November until next year according to Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol.

The Department of Agriculture consequently anticipates a price drop as well on commercial rice sold in the markets across the country.

“You have to understand that the buying price of palay — as a rule of thumb — double that is the selling price of rice. So kung ang bilihan ng palay is P20, ang bigas niyan nasa kwarenta, trentay otso kwarenta,” Piñol said.

He reiterated that there is no rice shortage in the country.

“There was and there is no rice shortage, in fact right now umaani na yung mga magsasaka natin, bumabagsak na yung presyo ng palay.”

He said it was the rice hoarders who manipulated the rice supply to jack up its price.

Just last week, police and customs operatives confiscated P300-M worth of smuggled rice from a Bulacan warehouse.

Meanwhile, to address the rice crisis in the Zambasulta area, Piñol is hoping for the enactment of the rice tariffication bill soon.  The bill will enable private traders to import rice legally.

“May gagawin na na program na magiging ligal na. In fact, the purpose is to stop smuggling, pero dapat pag pasok ng bigas it should be covered by tariff, quarantine inspection, and sanitary inspection,” Piñol said.

Meanwhile, there is no movement in rice prices at Nepa-Q Mart and Commonwealth Market in Quezon City.  NFA rice remains at P27 –P32 per kilo while commercial rice is still at P44-P60 per kilo.

Rice vendor Teresita Terado said, “Ganun pa rin sa dati,hindi ko alam kung kailan magbaba ang presyo.”

Rice traders are able to sell around 100 sacks of NFA rice in a day but can only manage to dispose three to five sacks of commercial rice daily. — Raymond Octobre

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10 families rescued from flash flood in San Miguel, Bulacan

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Saturday, September 15th, 2018

 

 

BULACAN, Philippines – Several barangays in the town of San Miguel were affected by a sudden flash flood on the onset of Typhoon Ompong on Saturday, September 15.

According to Bulacan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, floodwater of up to six feet rushed into residential areas, particularly in Barangay Banga-Banga.

Authorities said they have rescued at least 10 families from the flash flood with the assistance of the San Miguel Disaster Office.

A platoon of scout rangers is also on standby to respond to rescue operations when necessary. The local government has also prepared food relief packs for residents affected by the calamity. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Gerry Galicia)

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