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Malacanang plans to resell smuggled Chinese rice through NFA

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To shore up its rice inventory, Malacañang on Monday said that the National Food Authority (NFA) may resell 1,359 metric tons of smuggled rice seized by naval forces off Zamboanga Sibugay over the weekend.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that although it was standard operating procure (SOP) to dispose off the smuggled goods, it could increase the stockpile of NFA.

“Now, kung hindi nga lang po bigas iyan (if that were not only rice), that should be up for destruction,” Roque said in a Palace briefing.

Roque pointed out that President Rodrigo R. Duterte has made it clear that he was against the utilization of smuggled goods as he even led the destruction of P61 million smuggled imported luxury cars at the Bureau of Customs (BoC) in Manila last February. But smuggled rice was a different story.

“Pero dahil makakain naman ng taumbayan, ang sinabi sa akin ng Department of Agriculture ay pupuwede po iyang ibenta as NFA rice, iyong cheap rice ‘no para ma-increase iyong stockpile ng NFA (But because it can be consumed by our citizens, the Department of Agriculture told me that it can be sold as NFA rice, cheap rice so that its stockpile can increase),” he added.