Rice may be kept in good condition for at least six months if handled and stored properly, a National Food Authority official said Wednesday amid the alleged distribution of foul-smelling rice relief aid which was purchased by the Capitol from the NFA for displaced tourism industry workers.
“Ang ideal na storage time sa bugas is six months pero ma prolong pa na if naa tay mga external measures na ipanghimo,”said NFA information officer Joel Lim.
Loboc Mayor Leon Calipusan on Monday alleged that some of the rice packs delivered by the Office of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development (OPSWD) to the town had started to emit foul odor.
Meanwhile, Gov. Art Yap said that the rice relief aid from the Capitol was delivered to the Loboc local government unit (LGU) on October 16, 2020 and should have already been distributed to the beneficiaries.
He said that the prolonged storage may have caused the rice to spoil.
“Ang bugas para sa tourism workers gideliver sa Loboc aron ipang apod-apod niadtong Oct. 16, 2020 pa. Maong dili ta matingala kung nadaut ug nabaho na ang bugas kung naa pa sa LGU hangtod karon,” Yap said.
According to Lim, rice can be stored for over six months if properly kept and if extra measures are taken such as fumigation and pest control.
He said quality of the packs of rice which were delivered to Loboc may have deteriorated due to contamination while repacking or transportation.
“Ang tendency ana, ila ng gi-repack ug nahugaw ang bugas. Unya wa ta kahibalo na the past few months na ga sige og uwan, ga umog unya gabasa, it would invite infestation g’yud so natural nan a bukbukon,” he said.
The NFA official however noted that it would already be difficult to pinpoint which process may have caused the rice to spoil and eventually emit foul odor.
“To the handling, sa atmosphere, fumigation measures nila to preserve the quality sa bugas, wa ta kahibalo og aha na sayop anang dapita,” he said.
OPSWD chief Cermelita Tecson, for her part, said they handled the repacking and that the rice was in good condition at the time and upon delivery to Loboc.
According to Lim, they have been offering seminars to LGUs on good warehouse practices particularly on how to store rice properly.
The NFA also provides inspection and pest control of rice storage areas if an LGU or any other organization which purchases rice from them requests for the services.
The distribution of rice in Loboc was part of the provincial government’s assistance to the thousands of workers in the tourism industry across the province who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic.
The Capitol allocated P8.9 million for the program and purchased the rice through the NFA. (A. Dodyora)