‘Sell NFA rice right away to avoid being accused of hoarding’

RICE retailers in Cebu support the move of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 to look into some of their colleagues who are allegedly hoarding rice stocks.

The Grain Retailers Confederation (Grecon)-Cebu Chapter said operations made by the NBI 7 should serve as a warning to other rice retailers and sellers from committing illegal acts.

Celiapo “Semy” Cabuenas, Grecon-Cebu Chapter treasurer, told reporters that even their members are willing to be investigated if it turns out that their group is involved in such incidents.

Cabuenas made the reaction after receiving reports that two rice retailers in Cebu are currently under investigation for allegedly hoarding rice stocks provided by the National Food Authority (NFA).

NBI had coordinated with NFA following an agreement that the law enforcement agency will check on possible smuggling, illegal trading and price manipulation of rice and other commodities.

Cabuenas said that while they have been given exclusive authority to sell NFA-issued rice, they were prohibited to sell these near their stores if they are selling commercial rice.

“If we agree to sell NFA (rice), we should not sell commercial rice,” Cabuenas said.

They were even advised by NFA to sell government-provided rice stocks to sell it in a separate place away from their commercial rice stocks.

He advised his fellow rice retailers to immediately sell their NFA rice stocks and don’t stock them to avoid being accused of hoarding.

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