Gov’t raids on illegal rice traders result in price rollback – Palace
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Tuesday revealed that some rice traders are already lowering their prices because of government raids on illegal traders’ warehouses and increased allocation of National Food Authority (NFA) rice.
“Doon sa area ng CAMANAVA (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas and Valenzuela City), ’yung mga rice traders ay nagsagawa na ng voluntary price rollback, at inaasahan natin na ‘yung combined effect nitong mga raids na ito plus ‘yung patuloy na pag-infuse ng dagdag na allocation ng NFA rice ay ang patutunguhan niyan ay ma-stabilize ‘yung presyo ng bigas,” Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a press briefing.
(In the CAMANAVA area, rice traders have already implemented a voluntary price rollback and we are hoping that the combined effect of the raids and the continued increase in NFA rice allocation would result in stabilized rice prices.)
“Patuloy ’yung pagsisiyasat, pagtugis sa mga hoarders and profiteers and price manipulators, at ayon na rin kay ( Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization) Secretary (Francis) Pangilinan, pinagpapaliwanag ’yung regional director ng NFA sa Region III at doon sa isang tinukoy na lalawigan kung paano napasakamay ng mga commercial traders ‘yung NFA rice,” he added.
(The investigation and pursuit of hoarders and profiteers and price manipulators will continue. Secretary Francis Pangilinan, Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization, said they already asked the regional director of the National Food Authority (NFA) in Region III to explain how commercial traders got a hold of NFA rice.)
He said that the series of raids in the region resulted in the confiscation of 80,000 bags at 50 kilos each or 4,000 metric tons of rice amid alleged illegal transactions of commercial traders.
Coloma said they have yet to receive word if NFA officials will be held accountable and whether they will be reshuffled because of what has happened.
Media earlier reported that NFA rice was being repacked and sold at higher prices. Another report said commercial traders were mixing animal feeds with premium rice to increase their profits.
Such illegal transactions are said to have been causing the price of rice to go up.
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