The National Food Authority (NFA) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) have set a pre-hearing as they launched a probe on the alleged repacking of NFA rice into commercial rice.
The pre-hearing over the alleged malpractice is scheduled to be conducted Friday, March 9, at the local NFA office.
NFA officials and NBI Sarangani District Office agents on Wednesday found sacks of NFA rice being mixed with commercial rice when they raided a warehouse in Barangay Sinawal, this city.
The raid came after the NBI received complaints from concerned citizens about the “modus operandi” of unscrupulous traders who mixed or “re-bag” NFA rice with commercial rice and sell it at higher price.
Special Investigator Jeffrey Mosqueda of the NBI-Sarangani District Office, told the Philippine News Agency the raiding team recovered at the warehouse 291 bags of rice, including some mixed NFA and commercial rice.
“We received a complaint about the modus of mixing NFA rice with commercial rice and selling it at higher prices in the market. The result of the raid confirmed the information we received,” Mosqueda told reporters here.
Of the 291 sacks, Mosqueda said 91 sacks were NFA rice and 145 commercial rice. Some 55 other sacks are still being verified if it contain NFA or commercial rice.
Also seized were empty sacks, sewing machines, and weighing scale.
The local NFA office withheld the names of the owner of the warehouse and traders involved in the “re-bagging” of rice as investigation is ongoing.
Their names will be made public once formal charges will be filed against them.
They are liable for violations of Republic act 7581 otherwise known as the price act.
Meawhile, Mosqueda said the NFA is conducting a separate internal investigation on the possible involvement of NFA personnel in releasing rice supply to non NFA-accredited retailers. (PNA)