NFA taps NBI to intensifies fight against illegal rice trading
The National Food Authority (NFA) said it is now coordinating with National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for its crackdown on illegal rice trading in the country, especially with more government rice flowing into the market.
National Food Authority (NFA) Administrator Jason Aquino said that the agency is intensifying its fight against rice traders who are illegally rebagging and diverting NFA rice.
He has appointed NFA National Capital Region Director Carlito G. Co as NFA focal person to coordinate with NBI on the conduct of warehouse inspection nationwide to catch traders who may be hoarding rice or diverting NFA rice for a greater profit.
“We have to double our effort because it is not enough that we have NFA rice available if it does not go to the market and reach the people. We have to ensure that NFA rice is not diverted or rebagged, and then sold as commercial rice at a much higher price in the market by some unscrupulous individuals,” Aquino said.
“We only have about 100 inspectors nationwide, with one inspector per province and there are 15,000 warehouses in the country. Yet, our enforcers have apprehended many violators as evident in our reports. But we have to coordinate with other law enforcement agencies to have stronger and better implementation of our enforcement and monitoring activities. With the help of the NBI, we hope we can have better monitoring and enforcement of the law,” he added.
A report by the agency’s Security Services & Investigation Department (SSID) showed that NFA already inspected 53,662 establishments nationwide from January to July this year.
During the inspection, 4,774 rice traders were apprehended for violating various trading laws under P.D. No. 4, and other pertinent laws enforced by NFA.
NFA was also able to collect a total of P1.01 million in penalties and fines from the erring businessmen.