COA: Give stockpiled NFA rice as part of subsidy for poor Published on Tuesday, 18 September 2012 00:00 Written by PETER J. G. TABINGO THE Commission on Audit has recommended that part of the Conditional Cash Transfer subsidy be given in the form of rice so that the National Food Authority would be able to dispose of some P300‐million worth of iron‐enriched rice which is in danger of spoiling. “We recommended that the (NFA) management propose to DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) or Office of the President that instead of giving the whole amount of conditional cash transfer to its beneficiaries, 50 percent or part of it be given in the form of iron fortified rice,” COA said in its 2011 report released this week. COA however stressed that a laboratory analysis be conducted first by the Food and Drug Administration of the Department of Health to make sure that the rice is still fit for human consumption. Auditors said its inventory showed there are still 48,585 25‐kilo bags of Iron Rice Premix in NFA warehouses in Metro Manila and provincial districts that are either past their expiry dates or are expiring in 2012. The iron‐fortified rice was started pursuant to RA 8976 or the Philippine Fortification Act of 2000 which required the NFA to implement “mandatory fortification of all rice with iron except brown rice and locally produced glutinous rice (malagkit). The law took effect on November 7, 2004. NFA worked with the DSWD and the Department of Education on the distribution of Iron Fortified Rice to public school children through the Food‐for‐School Program. However, noting that consumers shunned IFR, NFA Administrator Angelito T. Banayo issued Memorandum No. AO‐2010‐G‐004 dated July 20, 2010 implementing a temporary suspension of mixing iron fortified rice. “Even the issuance of IFR to school children who were the direct beneficiaries of the Food for School Program of the DSWD and DepEd was also terminated,” COA noted. NFA’s North District Office covering the Camanava area has the biggest volume of expired/expiring IRP rice with 27,918 bags worth over P176.85 million. The Southern Office District which covers the areas of Bicutan, Mandaluyong, Pateros, Las Piñas Taguig, Makati, Pasay, Muntinlupa and Parañaque holds 9,152 bags valued at P56.04 million. Some 7,499 bags worth P47.81 million are stored at the Central District Office handling supplies for Manila, Quezon City and San Juan.
Another 3,005 bags worth P19.29 million are still at the Eastern District Office and were supposed to have been distributed to Antipolo, Pasig,Taytay and Marikina. The NFA Technical Research and Services Department told COA that it has already submitted samples of IFR stocks to the Food Development Center for analysis and copies of the FDC certification has been sent to the NFA Regional Offices for their guidance. On the other hand the agency’s Grains Marketing and Operation Department said it has ordered the prioritization of the sale of IFR stocks in various outlets. The stocks have also been lined up for speedy distribution to families affected by calamities. http://www.malaya.com.ph/index.php/news/nation/13275‐coa‐give‐stockpiled‐nfa‐rice‐as‐part‐of‐ subsidy‐for‐poor