Fighting against the Injudicious rice traders who will be responsible for hike in rice prices, the government law enforcement units yesterday raided another rice mill and warehouse in Bgy where they pull in 32000 sacks of adulterated rice.
Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas said that the adultered rice was seized from the warehouse of Purefeeds Corporation.This raid there was done by the National Food Authority (NFA) in coordination with -Criminal Investigation and Detection group (CIDG) in Bulacan
As a result the NFA has stopped the operation of rice mill temporarily. Last week about 5000 sacks of NFA rice were caught transferring from the warehouse
Roxas, along with Bulacan Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando, Malolos City Mayor Christian D. Natividad and CIDG director Benjamin Magalong Jr., inspected the rolling warehouse and showed press reporter how the adulterated rice was being packed in bag.
Explaining the scenario at the site Roxas said the ” the broken rice intended for animal feeds which were shipped from Vietnam were being mixed with the Blue Diamond rice variety imported from Thailand. The grains are then repacked and sold as “Golden Bee” Premium Sinandomeng rice. A commercial rice milling machine used for polishing old stock rice to make it look like good quality rice was also discovered.”
The adulterated rice were also contaminated with rat waste and smelled of urine. Thats why some rice varieties have unusual taste and smell. The rice is repacked by 25 kilograms and sold at P1,500.
Jomerito Soliman the owner of Purefeeds corporation could face many problems as a result of voilating many trade laws.
Roxas said thatgovernment is making all attempts to ensure that Filipinos eat safe rice and buy quality grains at government-imposed price.
Bulacan acting provincial director Senior Supt. Ferdinand Divina said that two truckseach loaded with loaded with 450 sacks of adultered rice were also caught from the warehouse.
Atty. Sulpicio Agapon, Regional District Officer of BIR, said that Purefeeds have their offices in Sta. Cruz , Manila but is not registered with the BIR in Bulacan instead of large scale buisness.
Purefeeds is only authorized for business of commercial animal feeds.They donot have relevant documents to show that they are authorized for importation of commercial rice too
NFA rice is still being sold in markets at P27 per kilo and P32 for the whiter variety but the manner of selling has been liberalized, according to consumers following the raids on warehouses. At the Maypajo market in Caloocan City, stalls selling NFA rice now allow consumers to buy as much as 10 kilos. Prior to the raids, consumers were limited to only a kilo of rice, at times a maximum of two kilos. Aside from this, NFA stalls open only for a very limited time forcing consumers to buy commercial rice at a high price from stores who also operate NFA stalls.
“There is NFA rice for sale but there is no one attending to the store, especially after NFA inspectors have done their rounds. You will see a notice on the stall that says ‘break time’ but they don’t go back anymore,” a housewife told Manila Bulletin in the vernacular.
“I hope the NFA would cancel the license of rice dealers who refuse to sell rice to the public,” she added.
The Palace has a warning, though to rice hoarders and price manipulators : “we are going after you guys.” (With a report from Liezle Basa Inigo and Genalyn D. Kabiling)