Friday, July 11, 2014

Roxas Inspection uncovers Warehouse mixing Commercial Rice with Animal Feeds

DILG Central News

Roxas Inspection uncovers Warehouse mixing Commercial Rice with Animal Feeds

  A government team inspecting warehouses suspected to be used in hoarding activities today discovered an appalling modus operandi: rice imported from Thailand are mixed with broken rice intended for animal feeds then sold to the market as premium Sinandomeng rice. 
The new modus was discovered when Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, accompanied by officials of the PNP Criminal Investigation Group, Bulacan local officials, agents from the Bureau of Internal Revenue, National Food Authority and the Bureau of Customs, personally inspected the Purefeeds Corporation warehouse located at the First Industrial Center in Barangay Tikay, Malolos City, at noon today.

Roxas said the owners of Purefeeds Corp. could be held criminally liable for violations of Philippine Trade laws.

“May violation sila sa NFA, sa Bureau of Animal Industry, sa Bureau of Internal Revenue at maging sa Bureau of Customs,” the DILG chief said.

“The broken rice residue intended for animal feeds came from Vietnam and was being mixed with the Blue Diamond rice imported from Thailand, and then repacked and being sold as “Golden Bee” Premium Sinandomeng rice,” he pointed out.

Roxas said the operations of the rice mill will be temporary suspended while appropriate charges are being readied against the Purefeeds Corp, which is owned by a certain Jomerito Soliman.

The raid at the Purefeeds warehouse was the 18th operations conducted by the CIDG and NFA. Of the 18 raids, Roxas said only four were found to be engaged in illicit trading of rice.

Roxas said that under Republic Act No. 7581, or the Price Act, the PNP and other law enforcement units may be deputized to monitor and inspect warehouses for possible hoarding and diversion of NFA rice.

“Hindi natin papayagang umiral ang panloloko ng mga negosyante sa ating mga kababayan. Hindi natin sila tatantanan at hindi natin papayagan na makakain ng ganito ang ating mga mamamayan ,” Roxas said, referring to the adulterated rice.

During the inspection, the government team discovered inside the warehouse at least 32,000 sacks of assorted broken rice intended for animal feed that were imported in Vietnam and regular rice imported from Thailand.

Senior Supt. Ferdinand Divina, Bulacan PNP acting director, said two trucks loaded with 900 sacks of the adulterated rice were prevented from leaving the warehouse.

According to NFA Administrator Arthur S. Juan, they will investigate why the two trucks seized at Purefeeds warehouse bore the logo of NFA complete with license number.

The Marilao warehouse was one of the 18 warehouses inspected by the PNP-CIDG since Thursday (July 3), when Roxas directed the PNP to assist government agencies in the investigation and filing of cases against those behind the artificial increase in the prices of essential commodities such as rice, garlic, ginger, pork, chicken, and milk.

The series of inspection led to the discovery of 220,000 bags of rice found stacked in the warehouses, 80,000 of which were found to be in violation of anti-hoarding laws.

Two of the warehouses which were personally inspected by Roxas and Magalong early Sunday (July 6) morning, yielded 14,996 bags of NFA rice and 4,580 bags of commercial rice.

During inspection of Warehouse #A1 and #A2, in JY & Son Compound., Km. 23, West Service Road., Cupang, Muntinlupa City, a commercial rice milling machine believed to be used for polishing inferior quality and old stock rice was also discovered.


649 Families Rescued from Danger Zones under Oplan Likas

  As a result of government efforts to clear Metro Manila’s informal settler families (ISFs) from dangerous waterways, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas led today the ceremonies for the turnover of the cleared three-meter easement of Maricaban Creek in Pasay City to barangay officials of Barangay 180 and 183.
Roxas said the creek’s 3-meter easement is now cleared after around 649 ISFs living along the waterway voluntarily relocated in a resettlement site located in Brgy. Hugo in Trece Martirez City since November 2013 under the government’s “Oplan Likas” program.

“Walang ibang hangad ang pamahalaan kundi masigurong ang mga mamamayan ay malayo sa sakuna o anumang peligro dulot ng kalamidad. Kaya natutuwa ako na sa pamamagitan ng Oplan Likas ay nabibigyan ng pagkakataon ang ating mga kababayan na manirahan sa isang ligtas na pamayanan,” said the DILG Secretary, who is also Vice-Chairperson for Disaster Preparedness.

“Oplan Likas” or “Lumikas para Iwas Kalamidad at Sakit,” which is being spearheaded by the DILG, aims to relocate ISFs living along so-called danger zones in various parts of Metro Manila to safe, decent, and affordable housing units as part of President Aquino’s “Covenant with the Poor.” Other agencies involved in the program are the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), National Housing Authority (NHA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Maricaban Creek is one of the eight priority waterways identified by the government that have to be widened and dredged and cleared of structures. The other waterways are: San Juan River, Manggahan Floodway, Estero Tripa de Galina, Tullahan River, Pasig River, Estero de Maypajo and Estero de Sunog Apog.
The DILG Chief said the clearing of the 3-meter easement along the Maricaban Creek also makes way for the implementation of the Metro Manila Flood Control Project of the DPWH. This includes the dredging of rivers, improvement of urban drainage system, and dike/river wall construction and excavation. As of now, dredging activities are already being undertaken in the area and the first phase of the revetment wall had already been completed.

“The relocation will pave the way for the unimpeded development of flood management system for Metro Manila. The vacated communities will be secured by the government and properly marked as danger zones to prevent building of structures in the future,” Roxas said.

During the activity, Brgy. Captain Pio Arce of Brgy. 180 expressed his gratitude to Roxas and said that the sangguniang barangay has passed a resolution accepting responsibility for the 3-meter easement to ensure that the ISFs will not return to the area again. Brgy. 183 issued a similar resolution.

“Dahil sa tulong ninyo, mababawasan na ang pagbaha dito sa aming lugar at makakaasa rin po kayo na wala ng ISF na maninirahan malapit sa creek,” Arce said.

One of the relocatees, Norma Lectonin, who is now living in the relocation site in Trece Martirez City, also shared that her family, along with the other families, is happy with her new home and adjusting very well in their new community.

“Salamat po sa ating mahal na Pangulo at kay Sec. Roxas dahil mayroon na po kaming maayos at ligtas na tahanan at hindi na kami nababahala sa baha at malakas ang bagyo,” she said, adding that most of them have engaged in small enterprises like sari-sari store and carinderia to make a living.

As of June 30, 2014, housing units amounting to a total of P147.6-million have already been distributed to 738 ISFs from the Maricaban area. A total of 1,845 starter food packs and 550 health kits have also been given to the families aside from the P18,000 financial assistance per family.

“Bago magtapos ang buwang ito, inaasahan ko na sa tulong ng lokal na pamahalaan ay wala ng ISF sa buong kahabaan ng Maricaban Creek,” Roxas said.

In attendance during the turnover rites were Pasay City Rep. Emi Calixto-Rubiano, DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson, and Barangay Captains Pio Arce and Maria Lita Landagan of Brgy. 180 and 183, respectively.

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