4 million bags of imported rice still at NFA warehouses–administrator
MANILA, Philippines—There are four million bags or more than 200 million kilos of imported rice that remain stored in the warehouses of the National Food Authority (NFA), its administrator admitted on Wednesday.
NFA Administrator Judy Carol Dansal made the revelation during the hearing of the Senate committee on agriculture headed by Senator Cynthia Villar.
It was Senator Imee Marcos who asked about the number of imported rice, which remains at the NFA’s warehouses.
“Sabihin po natin ang totoo. Kaya hindi kayo bumibili o nagbebenta kasi santabak pa yung imported,” Marcos said.
Dansal agreed that there are still many imported rice that they want to sell so they could buy new local rice.
“Ano po yung volume? Magkano ba talaga ang na import dati?” Marcos asked again.
Responding to the query, Dansal said the government imported 1.2 million metric tons (MT) of rice but only 290,000 MT have remained unsold.
But when Marcos pressed the NFA whether there were indeed nine million bags of imported rice that are rotting in their warehouses, the administrator said: “Four million na lang ma’am.”
Based on her own computation, however, Marcos said a 4.5-million bags of rice is equivalent to 225 million kilos or a total of P6.75 billion for P27 per kilo.
“So ibig sabihin , andami nyong pera kung ibebenta nyo ng paspasan. Huwag hintayin na kunwari mabubulok at io-auction,” the senator added.
Before this, Dansal informed the committee that from January to August this year, the NFA had already bought 293,642 MT of rice worth P6 billion, compared to the measly 4,046 MT last year.
Dansal added that the Department of Budget and Management had already released P3.5 billion out of its P7 billion allocation to the NFA.
Since the NFA is still allowed to borrow from banks, Dansal said they took the remaining P2.5 billion to complete the payment for the P6 billon worth of rice.
“Bakit hindi mo ipagbili para bumalik?” Villar said, apparently referring to the NFA rice at the warehouses.
“Kasi ang problema nyo, you’re supposed to buy and sell to stabilize the price of rice e kasama kayo dun sa magulo e kaya nga nagkaganito tayo e. Baguhin nyo na yang ugali nyong yan. Alam mo, lahat ng tao sisnisisi na kayo e,” Villar added. /jpv
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