Press Release
August 24, 2018

Statement of Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan, Partido Liberal president, on 'bukbok bigas'

The pile of questions we want to ask the National Food Authority keeps getting higher and higher.

Immediately after the calamity-level rice supply situation in Zamboanga, the NFA is once again in our headlines with 330,000 bags imported rice infested with weevils.

The NFA cited inclement weather as the reason for the infestation. Is it another issue of lack of planning? Or did the imported rice arrive already infested? If the rice arrived in June, what are the reasons for the delay in unloading?

Even as we reiterate our call for the NFA administration to resign, we also want to know: Who is in charge? Who will be held accountable for these continuing crises?

Most importantly, is the insecticide used to fumigate the rice guaranteed safe for human consumption, as claimed by the NFA authorities?

Like the Philippine Women's Volleyball Team in yesterday's win against Hong Kong, we will be as relentless in getting to the bottom of the issues surrounding our rice supply.

It is important to be hyper-vigilant about our rice supply now, more than ever, as we enter our lean months. Back in February, the government assured us that we have enough rice supply and that the imported rice that was to arrive in June will be used as buffer stock. Over the past several months, many have challenged this claim. We are yet to regain our confidence with the government's ability to feed its people.

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