Caloocan residents paid to buy NFA rice in Valenzuela
MANILA – Around 500 to 600 residents of a barangay in Caloocan City were given money to buy rice but only from the National Food Authority office in Valenzuela.
"Kahapon, pinatawag ko yung barangay captain doon pina-imbistigahan ko sa aking tanggapan. Di pa namin makuha ang motibo, pero may isang tao na gumamit sa mga barangay pinagbibigay ng P500 ang mga tao para pumila sa Valenzuela," said Caloocan City Mayor Oscar Malapitan.
Remy Hizon of Barangay 30 in Maypajo said he was among those who were asked to buy rice from Valenzuela on Thursday morning.
"Pag gising namin, maraming nagkakagulo sa labas akala namin may away. May nagsisigawan na may nagbibigay ng pera," he said.
He and his neighbors were given P300 to buy NFA rice, but were specifically directed to go only to the NFA rice being sold in Valenzuela.
Hizon said he bought three kilos at P27/kilo. He said they were allowed to keep the change from the P300 and were given additional P200 after they got back from Valenzuela with the rice.
To get to Valenzuela, Hizon said they boarded a rented jeepney and were told to act as if they do not know each other.
"Bumili kami ng bigas sa Valenzuela tapos huwag daw po kaming maguusap-usap doon parang di kami magkakakilala," he said.
Hizon named a certain Prof. Echaure, their neighbor, as one of those who facilitated the activity.
Another neighbor named Efren Cabales supported Hizon's claims and added that it was his first time to experience being given money from an unidentified group.
"Tinatanong namin kanino galing yung pera, secret daw. Marami ho nagbibigay ng bigas dito pero alam namin kung saan nanggagalin. Bukod tangi ito hindi namin alam kung kaninong tao galing yung mga perang ibinibigay," Cabales said.
Barangay 30 Chairman Wilfredo Gagarin said a kagawad was also involved in the incident.
"May kagawad din na involve na namimigay ng pera," he said. Gagarin has yet to talk with the said kagawad.
The Alliance of Grains Industry Stakeholders Philippines said there are several groups who are giving away money to deplete the supply of cheap NFA rice.
"Binibili yung murang bigas, nawawala. So, pag nawala yun, magpa-panic yung mga tao bibili sila ng bibili. Chain reaction yan eh, automatic magtataas ng presyo," said the group's vice chair for Luzon, Jojo Soliman. Report from Dennis Datu, DZMM and Bandila