Gatchalian on ‘bukbok’ rice: Hold those responsible accountable
Just hold those responsible accountable.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian made this call on Thursday in response to the offer made by Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol’ to eat rice infested with “bukbok” (weevils) just to prove it is still safe to eat.
“Serve me that bukbok rice, I will eat it,” Piñol said in a television interview on Tuesday.
But Gatchalian, chair of the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs, said Piñol “missed the point.”
“I can understand why Secretary Piñol would be so adamant in trying to prove that the 300,000 sacks of rice infested with weevils are safe for consumption. Sadly though, I think Secretary Piñol missed the point,” the senator said in a statement.
He said the Filipino people should not have to settle for “low quality rice or rice that has been infested with pests” since there is a government agency, the National Food Authority (NFA), which is mandated to ensure that the rice it imports is safe.
“The NFA should have made sure that the rice it imported was up to standards and that the necessary protocols were followed to ensure that the rice would be kept free from contamination,” Gatchalian said.
“Secretary Piñol should see to it that those who failed to do their jobs are held accountable,” the senator added. /muf