DA, NFA to give P250K reward money for info on rice cartel
The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the National Food Authority (NFA) on Saturday launched a joint campaign against rice hoarding, in a bid to help ease the country’s rice woes.
The “Report a Hoarder” campaign offers a P250,000-reward to “citizens who could provide information that would result in arrest of rice hoarders,” Agriculture chief Emmanuel Piñol said.
“In launching the campaign, DA and NFA expect traders to release their stocks and stabilize prices,” he said in a Facebook post. “Identity of informants will be held in strict confidentiality.”
NFA administrator Jason Aquino said they have “stepped up our monitoring activities to protect our consumers against businessmen who may take advantage of the situation.”
He said the NFA was also monitoring its accredited retailers to ensure that the selling of rice was within government-prescribed prices.
NFA sells its regular and well-milled rice at P27 per kilogram (kg) and P32 per kg, respectively.
“The reward money will be provided by private millers and traders who said activities of hoarders affect their business,” said Piñol after the DA-NFA anti-hoarding team discovered stacks of premium white and glutinous rice in at least five warehouses within Bulacan province’s Marilao municipality.
He said NFA would verify if the owners of the rice were amassing such stocks, and gulty of hoarding which was punishable with fines and imprisonment.
The NFA has earlier vowed to intensify its rice distribution activities to make the grain increasingly available to consumers.
The NFA reported having 15,892 accredited retail outlets selling NFA rice around the country.
Piñol said those who have information could contact the DA through these numbers:
(02) 920-9117 – Office of the Secretary
DA 0928-611-5555 (PNA)