By Marie Tonette Grace Marticio
982 sacks of confiscated milled rice found to be no longer fit for neither human nor animal consumption will be buried by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) Tacloban on July 13.
The shipment arrived at Tacloban Port exactly five years ago and was consigned to A-1 Milling Corporation, but a hold order was issued because it lacked import permit from National Food Authority (NFA) and other pertinent documents.
The owner expressly renounced its right over the seized milled rice, which prompted the BOC to order for its forfeiture.
Moreover, the subject items were offered to be sold in public auction twice but failed due to lack of interested bidders considering that they have also been damaged by Supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan) on November 2013.
After two failed biddings, it has been automatically forwarded for a ‘negotiated sale’ subject for the approval of the commissioner, but considering the abrupt changes in the Bureau’s administration, the Office of the Commissioner was not able to come up with a decision, said Acting District Collector Jose A. Naig.
Furthermore, the decision of BOC-Tacloban was based on the result of the laboratory analysis performed by the NFA, which deemed the rice to be unfit for human and animal consumption.
With said findings, he shared that he created a Committee on Disposition of Goods Injurious to Public Health, which recommended the disposal thru condemnation due to items’ present condition.
The committee also observed that the grains were already moldy, discolored and powdery, and emit pungent smell.
“Upon my assumption of office, I have worked out for the condemnation and immediate burying of these items. The prolonged stay of these commodities is prejudicial to the interest of the government because we are paying for their storage and a hazardous to public health,” he said.