VIDEO: "Saksi" finds almost 300 metric tons of rice rotting in NFA


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News program Saksi reports nearly 300 metric tons of rice are rotting in warehouses of the National Food Authority (NFA). As of June 2010, about 279 metric tons of the NFA grains in stock are totally damaged; nearly 1,300 metric tons are partially damaged; and about 15,000 metric tons are infested.

Moreover, about 200,000 metric tons of imported rice are coming in, according to Saksi’s report. NFA Administrator Lito Banayo told Saksi, "I cannot accept anybody saying there is no over importation. The figures are there."

Former Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s spokesperson Elena Bautista-Horn said the sacks of rice in the NFA warehouses are stock supplies in case El Nino affects the production of rice. She had previously said that all rice purchases during Arroyo’s administration went through due process.

Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano told The Rundown, as reported by ABS-CBNNews.com, that over importation is not the only anomaly in the rice trade. He cited recycled import permits and exemptions from the 40 to 50 percent tariff imposed on importation by the private sector. Former Agriculture Sec. Leonardo Montemayor said about P1.6 to P2 billion in potential government revenue was lost in 2010 because of the duty-free importation of rice authorized by the NFA Council.

For more on this story, log on to GMANews.tv and ABS-CBNNews.com.

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