NFA Provincial Manager Sambitory Dimaporo (center) answers questions from members of the Sanggunian Panlalawigan of Lanao del Norte on the feared proliferation of fake rice in the local markets of Mindanao.
Tubod, Lanao del Norte – Alarmed by the proliferation of synthetic or ‘fake’ rice in the public markets of Davao City and Talisay City, the Sanggunian Panlalawigan of this progressive province directed town officials and Chiefs of Police from the 22 municipalities to monitor and prevent the entry of synthetic rice in their community.
During the latest session of the provincial council, representatives from the National Food Authority (NFA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Provincial Police Office (PPO) together with his municipal Chiefs of Police (COP) were invited to help thwart the entry of fake rice in local markets.
NFA Provincial Manager Sambitory Dimaporo confirmed that as of the present no synthetic rice is being sold in Lanao del Norte. The alleged fake rice bought in the coastal town of Kolambugan proved to be a false alarm after rice samples sent to NFA Central Office turned out to be genuine rice.
“We need to be vigilant and protect our local communities from the entry of these fake rice since it can cause tremedous harm to the health of our people and possibly even death”, urged Provincial Boardmember Superman Usop.
For his part, DTI representative John Clifford Fernan also stressed the importance of the Local Price Monitoring Council in ensuring not only the price of rice but also its quality.
Also proposed during the session by Police Superintendent Henry Monta of PPO was the creation of the Provincial Anti-Synthetic Rice Task Force to be headed by Department of Agriculture (DA) or NFA with the local PNP and AFP tapped as security forces.
Municipal LGUs can also assist the task force by identifying potential suppliers, distributors and outlets of fake rice for possible apprenhension by law enforcers.
To effectively identify synthetic rice and ensure that only genuine rice are sold in the province, the Sanggunian Panlalawigan requested NFA, DA and the Bureau of Food and Drugs to provide the provincial government with technical staff who can identify synthetic rice from genuine rice.
To date, the province of Lanao del Norte remains free from synthetic or fake rice. VNL/PIO-LDN