Senator Win Gatchalian slammed the “uncoordinated and impractical” move of the National Food Authority (NFA) to charge retailers ₱115,000 to be able to sell rice, as he called on the agency to scrap the exorbitant fee.

“This is an ill-conceived move of the NFA. Akala ko ba ang gusto nila ay dumami ang magbenta ng murang bigas? Paano mangyayari ‘yon kung ikaw na nga ang humingi ng tulong, ikaw pa ang maniningil ng pagkamahal-mahal na permit fee?” an exasperated Gatchalian said.

“This is an ill-conceived move of the NFA.”

The Philippine Amalgamated Supermarkets Association (Pagasa), Inc. recently revealed that the NFA is charging ₱115,000 from retailers with a paid-up capital of ₱10 million in order for them to be permitted to sell rice.

It was the government which sought the help of Pagasa, Inc. to help flood the market with affordable rice.

“Kung ikaw ba ang may-ari ng supermarket, magbabayad ka ba ng permit fee na ‘yan if in the first place eh ‘di ka naman required magbenta ng NFA rice?” the legislator said.

“This is yet another reason why the NFA should be abolished. Sakit ng ulo lang ang ibinibigay nila sa mga kababayan natin,” the lawmaker stressed.

Pagasa Inc. had previously agreed to have its members sell NFA rice, based on a memorandum of agreement (MOA) recently signed. It has some 200 stores across the country that would have given poor Filipinos better access to the staple food.

The group, however, lamented that the permit fee makes it impossible for its members to help solve the rice issue.

“Mismong DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) na ang nagsabi na wala naman sa MOA yung permit fee na ‘yan. So why is the NFA now suddenly and unilaterally charging this arbitrary fee?” the senator said.

“Why is the NFA now suddenly and unilaterally charging this arbitrary fee?”



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