Removing ‘bokbok’ from sacks of rice might delay deliveries — NFA
An official of the National Food Authority (NFA) warned that removing the rice weevils or “bokbok” from infested sacks in Subic and would likely delay the delivery of rice to distributors.
“‘Yong problema lang natin dito, dahil doon sa infestation na ‘yon, ‘yong delay na naman kasi that would take seven to 12 days ‘yong ating unloading,” NFA Spokesperson Director Rex Estoperez said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer on Thursday.
However, he clarified that the sacks of infested rice have not yet been bought by NFA. Bokbok spread inside the ships and the sacks of rice were not unloaded due to the problem.
He said conditions inside the ship probably promoted the growth of weevils.
“Basta nasa barko pa ang ating mga bigas, wala tayong pagmamay-ari pa noon. Ang pagmamay-ari natin, ang final acceptance, sa bodega na po,” he said, noting that strict measures are in place to avoid the acquisition of contaminated rice.
According to Estoperez, if there are sacks of rice without weevils but were placed in near affected sacks, authorities from the Bureau of Plant Industry would have to put these under quarantine and fumigate them.
“‘Pag may nakitaan kahit isa lang, or meron siyang itlog na nakita mo, lahat po ‘yan isa-subject sa fumigation. Hindi natin pwedeng sabihin na piliin natin, kailangan buong barko i-fumigate mo,” he explained.
As of now, at least 133,000 sacks of rice inside a ship docked a port in Subic, and 177,000 in Albay are being fumigated to remove the insects.
“‘Yong sa tagal ng mga bigas na ‘yon sa barko, ang barko napaka-init. Which is conducive sa pagdami ng itlog ng mga bokbok na ‘yan, talagang kailangan nilang i-fumigate ‘yan,” he said.
However, he assured the public that there would be a sufficient supply, as rice transported in a different ship in Subic were not affected.
“Dito po sa Subic mayroon po tayong dalawang barko […] meron pa tayong mga 56,000 bags sa isang barko na walang (bokbok), hindi naman apektado ‘yon,” Estoperez claimed.
“Wala silang ikaka-bahala, safe sa ating mga kababayan at meron pang bigas na NFA,” he added. /vvp
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