NFA admin defends sale of milled rice to traders
NFA admin defends sale of milled rice to traders
NFA admin defends sale of milled rice to traders
by Ellicia Del Mundo01 March 2024

The administrator of the National Food Authority (NFA) defended on Friday, March 1, the agency's sale of milled rice to certain traders, stressing that no personal interest was involved.

Interviewed on DZRH Dos Por Dos, NFA Administrator Rod Bioco said they only sold tons of milled rice to support their agency's day-to-day finances and also to prevent leftovers that could lead to disposal.

"Nag-start lang ito [selling], if I'm not mistaken, mga late November or December na last year. Kasi force to good na tayo, mauubusan na ng pera ang NFA pang-sweldo. May memo na sa finance natin na kailangan na magbenta ng stocks. Hindi naman pwedeng maghintay lang kami ng sales based sa relief agencies kasi wala namang major na sakuna. Malaking stocks ng NFA ang kailangang ibenta [...] Malapit na rin mag-expire yung stock natin," he said.

The primary mandate of NFA is to safe keep and dispose 99% of rice stocks that are in good and consumable condition.


Bioco explained that they follow a 6-3 rule in which they buy palay (unhusked rice), store it for six months, and then mill it and keep within three months.

The said rice stocks are reserved for calamity relief, usually bought by the social welfare department, the local government units, and other welfare agencies, and these can also be sold to commercial buyers on a "first in, first out" and "first come, first serve" basis.

"Naka-set na ang presyo niyan, maximum P25 sa ngayon ng council. HInihingi natin ang pahintulot ng council na ibenta at a higher price. Hanggang P25 pa lang ang approved," the NFA administrator added.

Bioco confirmed that 200,000 metric tons of milled rice were sold to buyers since late last year.


He clarified he did not benefited in the rice sale. "Many of these traders, ngayon ko lang nakilala when I became an administrator kasi I'm not from the industry, galing ako sa corn industry. Hindi ako masyadong familiar sa mga stakeholders, especially sa rice millers na involved sa transaction ng NFA."

"Ako, hindi ako nag-benefit or anything from this kasi tinitingnan lang natin yung kapakanan ng NFA, ayun ang trabaho natin. But wala tayong personal interest, hindi tayo nakinabang dito," the NFA administrator added.

He expressed readiness to cooperate with agriculture department's probe into their sale of milled rice.

"Sa ngayon ay ongoing ang investigation and we welcome that to straighten the matter also. Everything that we are doing are based on the existing guidelines. Also to the best of our ability to make sure that the interest of the public is uphold. 'Yon naman ang ginagawa natin sa ngayon," he said.


Earlier this week, Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. ordered the agency's panel of investigators to verify reports that NFA sold thousands of rice at a “disadvantageous” price without proper bidding.

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