NFA apprehensions up 44% | Inquirer Business
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NFA apprehensions up 44%

By: - Reporter / @kocampoINQ
/ 05:10 AM December 25, 2018

The number of grains businessmen apprehended by the National Food Authority (NFA) this year increased by 44 percent, as the agency strengthened its rice and market monitoring activities.

In a statement, NFA said it was able to apprehend 8,826 grains businessmen from 6,128 last year for various violations of trading rules. As of Nov. 30, it was also able to collect at least P10.78 million in fines.

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According to acting NFA administrator Tomas Escarez, the agency decided to beef up its regulatory efforts by tapping more manpower, which enabled the agency to inspect 168,140 business establishments.

To recall, rice prices peaked in September after a series of weekly upward adjustments. This, following the depletion of subsidized rice in the market due to tighter local supply and high petroleum prices.

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Notable violations included nonrenewal of NFA license, operating without license, noncompliance to the prescribed rice box and display of price tags and signboards.

Aside from private rice traders, there were also NFA rice retailers who were apprehended for nondisplay of NFA rice, diversion of NFA rice, unreasonable depletion of NFA rice, among others.

Escarez claimed the enforcement activities did not only prevent hoarding rice and other illegal activities but also stabilized prices in the market.

For this year, NFA, with the help of the NBI and other law enforcement groups, was able to seize more than 18,000 bags of rice in an undeclared warehouse in Iligan City. In Laguna, a rice trader was also apprehended while in possession of illegally acquired volumes of NFA rice, while a retailer in Bataan was caught rebagging NFA rice.

Once the government deregulates the entry of imported rice in the country, the NFA would no longer have the authority to monitor and regulate erring businessmen. Its power will be limited to maintaining the country’s buffer stock for emergency purposes.

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TAGS: National Food Authority (NFA), rice, Tomas Escarez
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