Palengke watchers deployed to intensify rice monitoring
The National Food Authority (NFA) has deployed ‘palengke watchers’ in all major and minor markets in Metro Manila, including the provinces of Rizal and Cavite, to monitor the availability, visibility and accessibility of subsidized rice in Metro Manila markets.
The palengke watchers are supposed to assist the regular NFA enforcement officers in monitoring the availability of NFA rice in the markets, inventory of commercial and NFA rice, and compliance to grains business rules.
Their presence in the market is also meant to deter illegal activities such as diversion, re-bagging and overpricing.
A data showed there are 668 major and minor markets in the National Capital Region, including Cavite and Rizal provinces, with 1,946 accredited NFA rice retailers, and a total of 5,328 licensed grains businessmen.
“With the number of markets and retailers in Metro Manila, we really have to deploy additional manpower so we can monitor NFA rice distribution more efficiently. Without our palengke watchers, market monitoring will be very hard because we only have one enforcement officer for every provincial or district office,” NFA Deputy Administrator for Operation Judy Carol Dansal said.
Nationwide, NFA only has around 86 enforcers monitoring Metro Manila markets.
NFA rice is still sold at P27.00 per kilogram (/kg) for 25 percent brokens and
P32.00/kg for 15 percent brokens.
As for commercial rice, it is sold at an average retail price of P44.00/kg for RMR, and P47.00/kg for WMR.