BACNOTAN, La Union: The stinking smell of heaps and heaps of spoiled rice has caught the attention of Barangay Paraoir residents as the dumping site is near two school campuses.
The rotten rice supply is believed to be part of a shipment from Vietnam to the National Food Authority (NFA) but was not delivered to the warehouses as the ship carrying it encountered problems and ultimately ran aground in Poro Point, San Fernando City.
It was not clear who authorized the dumping of the supply but three of those who are working to dump the rotten rice in the village confirmed that an NFA officer oversees the activity and that this person also sprays chemicals on the garbage to minimize the smell.
Larry Guron, leader of the dump workers, said they were paid to shovel a total of 25 dump-truck loads contained in NFA rice sacks since Thursday.
Frederick Dulay, NFA information officer, admitted that the rotten rice is part of the supply imported by the Philippine government from Vietnam.
“When the ship ran into problems, the rice got wet and were no longer fit for human or animal consumption,” he said as he claimed that the dumping will actually fertilize the land.
He added that the Vietnamese supplier has already replaced the damaged supply.
Barangay Kagawad George Nelmida said they did not formally issue any permission to dump the rice in their area although they were informed about it. He added that they will start monitoring this as it may cause some health problems among the students of two Paraoir elementary school campuses.