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NFA rice shortage felt in jails, too

/ 07:21 AM September 08, 2018

TACLOBAN CITY—Jails in Eastern Visayas were feeling the pinch of a shortage in government-subsidized rice, according to a jail official in this city.

Supt. Manuel Chan Jr., warden of the Tacloban City Jail, said for the last two months, jail officials had to buy rice from private traders because of a delay in the delivery of rice from the National Food Authority (NFA).

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The jail, managed by the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), gets its monthly supply of rice from the NFA because it costs less.

As a result, according to Chan, expenses for rice had increased as rice from private traders cost more than that from the NFA.

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P500 more

Chan said while the jail gets a sack of rice from the NFA for P1,500, it costs P2,000 when bought from private traders.

“Our inmates continue to eat rice every day,” said Chan.

“Our concern is more on the increased cost of buying rice as we buy our supply from private traders,” he added.

He said the city jail consumes from 300 to 320 sacks of rice per month.

The detention facility currently has 1,052 inmates who get a ration of 400 grams of rice per meal.

Regional problem

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Chan, who is also assistant regional director of the Eastern Visayas BJMP, said the same is true in other jails in the region.

The BJMP supervises 26 jails across Eastern Visayas with close to 3,000 inmates. At least 75 percent of inmates faced drug-related charges.

Chan said the BJMP regional office had already sought help from the NFA and had been given an assurance that the supply shortage would be solved.

The BJMP is among the government agencies considered to be priorities in the delivery of NFA rice.

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