Senate probe on NFA sale of aging rice stocks pushed | Inquirer News

Senate probe on NFA sale of aging rice stocks pushed

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 01:18 PM March 04, 2024

STILL THE SAME / FEBRUARY 15, 2024 Rice prices are displayed at a rice retail store in Marikina Public Market in Marikina City on Thursday, February 15, 2024. Farmers group Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) said according to their monitoring effort prices of rice in some public markets in the city have gone down. INQUIRER PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

Rice prices are displayed at a rice retail store in Marikina Public Market in Marikina city on Thursday, February 15, 2024. (INQUIRER file photo / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE)

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Imee Marcos has formally sought a Senate inquiry into the reported “irregular disposition and sale” of repackaged rice stocks by the National Food Authority (NFA) to two traders at low prices.

The inquiry is being proposed through Senate Resolution No. 940 filed on Monday.


Her resolution cited a letter-complaint filed last month by NFA Assistant Administrator for Operations Lemuel Pagayunan before the Office of the President.


The complaint is about the alleged sale of 75,000 bags of “deteriorating or aging” NFA rice worth P93 million to G4 Rice Mill San Miguel Corporation and NBK San Pedro Rice Mill.

The transaction was allegedly made possible through the issuance of several memoranda by NFA Administrator Roderico Bioco.

On the part of the NFA, Bioco defended the sale of the aging rice in accordance with its resolution which only allows the maximum storage of rice for 3 months.

“The sold NFA stocks were already stored for more than three months. Thus, the sale transactions were in accordance with the approved NFA Council Resolution,” the resolution further reads.

As to the choice of the two traders, the resolution mentioned the NFA’s explanation that it was supposedly made to prevent connivance between the agency personnel and old local millers “who have been engaged in irregular warehouse transactions.”

“In addition, the limited number of buyers allowed the warehouse personnel to comply with the ‘first in, first out” policy’ in the issuance of aging stocks,” the NFA was also quoted in the resolution as saying.


In a separate statement, Marcos stressed that a thorough review of the NFA’s mandate was crucial to deal with a global rice shortage.

She expressed alarm that the NFA has “completely lost its way” amid a cutback in the global rice supply.

“The Philippines is now the world’s largest rice importer and the dire market situation today will only worsen in the coming months,” the senator said.

She also questioned why the NFA was “at the forefront of buying rice from India.”

“Bakit sila nauwi duon eh bawal na bawal sa charter nila na sila ang mag-import?” she asked.

(Why did they end up there when their charter strictly prohibits them from importation?)

According to her, the NFA was established supposedly to buy palay from local farmers, stabilize rice prices for the Filipino consumer, and ensure a sufficient buffer stock for calamities.

“However, the agency has repeatedly fallen short of its required buffer stock and been unable to cope with higher farmgate prices of palay, which rose to as high as P27  per kilo last year,” she  pointed out.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Marcos also lamented the NFA’s alleged failure “to support all local farmers desperate for aid, especially when rice smuggling forced them to sell their harvests below the cost of production.”

TAGS: Imee Marcos, NFA, Probe, rice, Senate

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.