THE rice being distributed to local government units (LGUs) which were affected by the recent typhoons, is of good quality.
This was the assurance made by National Food Authority (NFA) Administrator Judy Carol Dansal as she denied a television news item that the victims of typhoon Rolly in Virac, Catanduanes received food packs with sub-standard rice came from them.
In the said report, the provincial government of Virac denied distributing inferior-quality rice.
However, the TV program suggested that the rice came from the NFA-Catanduanes.
Dansal, however, stressed that the NFA should not be held liable since it was not them who distributed the said food packs.
“We are focused on our mandate to maintain the country’s rice buffer stocks, and we assure that the NFA rice sold and distributed to local government units, particularly in times of calamity, is of good quality,” she added.
In her report to Agriculture Secretary William Dar, Dansal said the Catanduanes Provincial Social Welfare Development Office (PSWDO) procured and repacked the NFA rice.
The PSWDO said the NFA stored the rice at the Catanduanes provincial capitol prior to the onslaught of Typhoon “Quinta” on Oct. 25.
The rice was then included in food packs distributed by the PSWDO to typhoon-affected families, including those in Barangay Igang (who were interviewed by a TV reporter) on November 3, after typhoon “Rolly” hit on November 1.
For its part, the Catanduanes PSWDO clarified that their office has been very cautious, in that they only pack good-quality food items. However, it is not dismissing the fact that the repacked goods could have been damaged while in storage. The PSWDO also verified that the rice stocks received from the NFA warehouse were of superb quality.
Dar, on the other hand, has ordered Dansal to continuously respond to the immediate needs of LGUs, whose constituents were displaced by typhoons and other natural calamities.
Meanwhile, last Sunday, Dar reported to President Rodrigo Duterte that the NFA donated P41-million (M) worth of rice for the benefit of flood-affected families in Cagayan and Isabela, who received 14,500 bags worth P18M, and 18,500 bags worth P23 million, respectively.
Last week, thousands of typhoon Rolly victims in Catanduanes also received 20,000 bags of NFA rice.
Early this week, the DA-NFA also donated 1,000 bags each to the City of Marikina and Municipality of San Mateo, Rizal, for the benefit of flood victims due to typhoon Ulysses.