Senator Cynthia Villar on Thursday said the Senate Committee on Agriculture will investigate the reported proliferation of fake rice from China.
Villar said she will invite Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, National Food Authority (NFA) Administrator Reynan Dalisay, officials of Bureau of Customs (BOC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to the hearing set on July 13.
“We have to find out what happened because the NFA officials told me in the last hearing on rice smuggling that they will no longer give import permits to private entities,” Villar said at the Kapihan sa Senado media forum.
“If ever we are going to import rice, it should be government-to-government through NFA, so there should be no imported fake rice,” she added.
”We will ask the FDA what kind of rice is this because they have the expertise to determine. We have always emphasized that food safety is important,” Villar said.
She said the contraband may have been smuggled through ports in Zamboanga City.
”It’s difficult to monitor because we have to many ports,” Villar said.