Mag­pale hits un­co­op­er­a­tive NFA of­fi­cials, can­cels in­quiry

NFA RICE SHORT­AGE

Cebu Daily News - - NEWS - By Nes­tle L. Semilla RE­PORTER

The Cebu Pro­vin­cial Board (PB) will no longer in­ves­ti­gate the short­age of Na­tional Food Au­thor­ity (NFA) rice in the prov­ince.

Cebu Vice Gov­er­nor Agnes Mag­pale ad­mit­ted at be­ing dis­ap­pointed with the out­come of their leg­isla­tive in­quiry last Mon­day with in­vited NFA of­fi­cials whom she ac­cused of not co­op­er­at­ing with them.

“It was use­less to go ahead with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Be­cause there was noth­ing we could get (from the NFA of­fi­cials),” Mag­pale said in a press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day.

The Pro­vin­cial Board con­ducted the in­quiry, as re­quested by Cebu Third Dis­trict Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Alex Bing­hay, af­ter re­ports sur­faced that even the Cap­tiol was no longer re­ceiv­ing de­liv­er­ies of NFA rice be­cause of the short­age.

The short­age has greatly af­fected some pro­grams of the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment such as the “Bu­gasan sa Kababaen­han” and “Halad Kang Lolo ug Lola” where they dis­trib­ute free NFA rice to women and se­nior cit­i­zens in the prov­ince.

The PB also wanted to know if re­ports were true that the NFA dis­trib­uted rice only to traders in the months that the agency has stopped dis­tribut­ing to its ac­cred­ited re­tail­ers re­sult­ing in high prices of the sta­ple.

But this was de­nied by NFA-7 Re­gional Di­rec­tor Pro­co­pio Trabajo II dur­ing the leg­isla­tive in­quiry. He said that they have de­ployed mon­i­tor­ing units to mar­kets and have not re­ceived re­port about this.

Mag­pale how­ever, was not con­vinced that the mar­kets were in­deed be­ing mon­i­tored by the NFA as she sug­gested that the prov­ince will help in the mon­i­tor­ing.

Mag­pale said that no NFA of­fi­cial had com­mu­ni­cated with them since they made the of­fer to help.

“They (NFA) don’t take us se­ri­ously. I said we can des­ig­nate lo­cal gov­ern­ment units (LGUs) so we re­ally can mon­i­tor,” Mag­pale said adding that they can re­ally help since they have peo­ple who can mon­i­tor the pric­ing and dis­tri­bu­tion, among oth­ers, of NFA rice in the prov­ince.

“Ni­in­gon sila nga ilang mon­i­tor­ing team kuwang. (So) we can des­ig­nate nga mo­han­dle (in ev­ery) town. Pero wala sila mo re­spond,” Mag­pale said.

(They said they lack of mon­i­tor­ing teams. So we vol­un­teered to help. But they did not re­spond to us).

CEBU DAILY NEWS tried but failed to get com­ments from the NFA.

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