NBI probes 2 firms for hoarding

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014


TWO establishments in Cebu City are being investigated by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 for allegedly hoarding rice.

NBI 7 Director Max Salvador did not reveal to reporters the names of the business firms pending the outcome of the inquiry.

"We will give them chance to present their side," he told reporters yesterday.

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He said their move came after the NBI and National Food Authority (NFA) signed a memorandum of agreement to check smuggling, illegal trading, and price manipulation of rice and other prime commodities.

Salvador said hoarding of rice is a form of economic sabotage and violates the Consumer's Act of the Philippines.

The Consumer's Act (Republic Act 7394) promotes the interests of the consumers and their general welfare.

The law also sets standards of conduct for businesses and industries. One of its objectives is to protect consumers against deceptive, unfair and unconscionable sales acts and practices.

Salvador said there is a possibility that there are businesspersons who hoard rice during bad weather and typhoons so they can increase the price when it's time to sell them.

"It's really sad that there are traders taking advantage of these calamities," he said.

In an earlier report, Grain Retailers Confederation (Grecon)-Cebu Chapter secretary Celiapo Cabuenas, said he received complaints against some of their members for allegedly selling a variety of NFA rice to the public.

He said some of their members are reportedly selling only the rice variety that's worth P32 per kilo.

In an agreement with the NFA, licensed rice retailers are required to sell two varieties of NFA rice: the one with 15 percent broken grains, which cost P27 per kilo, and another variety that has 25 percent broken grains and sells for P32 per kilo. KAL

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 23, 2014.

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