Sell seized smuggled rice thru NFA retailers
I just received an e-mail from Marcelo Tecson of San Miguel, Bulacan, denouncing the bidding conducted by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for the apprehended 93,952 bags (of 50 kilos each) of smuggled rice at the Port of Legaspi City at a very, very low base price of only P88.3 million, which translates into P939.85/bag or 18.80/kilo only. Clearly this bidding is tainted with graft and corruption as the base price is very much lower than the selling price of NFA-imported rice, which is P1,250/bag or P25/kilo. Those crooks at the BOC will certainly make money regardless of whoever won the bidding because of the very low base bid price. Had the National Food Authority (NFA) participated in this bidding and offered a bid of P90 million to P100 million and won, it would have made a profit of P17.44 million upwards.
But the right thing to do is for the BOC to turn over apprehended smuggled rice to the NFA and for the NFA to sell this smuggled rice to the public through NFA-accredited rice retailers across the country. Although I am not a lawyer, I don’t see any reason to prevent the BOC from turning over to the NFA apprehended smuggled rice after its forfeiture in favor of the government.
I suggest that the NFA make representation with the Office of the President, if it had not done yet, that henceforth all apprehended smuggled rice be turned over to the NFA for disposition through NFA-accredited retailers nationwide at the NFA retailer’s price of P25/kilo or P1,250/bag of 50 kilos, then to turn over the proceeds of the sale to the Department of Finance. During President Ferdinand Marcos’ time, even apprehended smuggled garlic (there was no rice smuggling then) was turned over to the NFA.
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