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Piñol offers bounty on hoarders; rice import set

People with vital information on rice hoarders could get as much as P250,000 if they report them to the Agriculture department, an official said Monday.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said his department now had a “report-a-hoarder campaign that would reward people who report hoarders with up to P250,000.

The government is trying to rein in prices as a result of the surging inflation affecting many commodities including rice.

In other developments:

The National Food Authority said Tuesday there is no shortage of rice in the country.

Even as the NFA Council approved the immediate importation of 133,500 metric tons of rice to be allocated to 

Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi to ease the high rice prices in these areas.

“Delivery for the 33,500 MT is set for September 15-30 and 100,000 MT should arrive between October 1 and November 30, 2018,” it said.

On Monday, Piñol said Zambasulta is the only area in the country experiencing a rice shortage, which the NFA is monitoring.

Senator Bam Aquino on Tuesday called on the government to immediately address the issue of high BP or “Bigas at Presyo” that he says affects millions of Filipinos, especially the poor.

“If BP is too high, our livelihood will be endangered. Let us lower BP,” said Aquino, one of four senators who voted against the ratification of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN Law.

• Former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday expressed his support for the return of the Oil Price Stabilization Fund that he believes will ease the effects of rising oil prices.

• Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto on Tuesday called on the government to freeze its plan to raise motor vehicle registration fees as it could be the third of the “triple whammy” against the owners of the 10.4 million vehicles who, he said, were still reeling from the higher taxes on oil and cars.

“When motorists are buying more expensive gas and spending more time on the road to reach shorter distances, then clearly it is not the right time to further jack up the cost of vehicle ownership,” Recto said.

• A legislator said Tuesday the dwindling catch of inland and saltwater fish should prompt the government to create a Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources to address problem.

Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte of Camarines Sur said the recent importation of round scad best illustrates the sorry state of the country’s fish output.

Piñol said the reward money would be “provided by the private millers and traders who said that the activities of the hoarders affect their business.” The government would not shell out funds.

But Piñol did not say if cash was already available for the reward. (

He said they had inspected at least five warehouses in Marilao, Bulacan, where stacks of premium white and glutinous rice were discovered.

“They said they had documents, but that’s not the issue. The question is, why are you not releasing that to the public? That is hoarding,” Piñol said.

He appealed to rice traders to sell their rice as it would be an “embarrassing moment” for them if they waited for the police to raid their warehouses.

Piñol said informants could call the agency’s hotline number 9219117.

Topics: Emmanuel Piñol , Department of Agriculture , National Food Authority , Bam Aquino , Rice hoarders , TRAIN law
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