200 COMPLAINTS RESOLVED UNDER NFA KONTRA ABUSO
Five days after launching its hotline “NFA KONTRA ABUSO” on July 12, the National Food Authority already received more than 170 complaints which were promptly acted upon by the concerned NFA branches.
The NFA KONTRA ABUSO was launched to establish a Hotline Number (0927-871-5921) where the public may text or call for their concerns.
The hotline is being managed by NFA’s Task Force Kontra Abuso manned by personnel of the Security Services and Investigation Department (SSID) on a 24/7 basis to attend to complaints, requests for assistance, or tip-off information from the public regarding illegal grains trading activities via call or text messages. It will also serve as a venue for grains businessmen and the public to report highway violations during transport of grains commodities and alleged inspection of grains business establishments.
According to Senior Enforcement Officer Edwin Mejos of NFA-Security Services and Investigation Department (SSID), who was in-charge of the hotline during the first week, the complaints were mostly text messages.
“Most of the complaints were about non-availability of NFA rice in certain markets or areas, alleged rebagging of NFA rice by traders, and over-pricing of NFA rice,” Mejos said.
NFA Administrator Jason Aquino said the NFA will continue to act promptly on all verified complaints received through the hotline.
“We can now see that the hotline is a very effective and quick way to receive the concerns of our citizens, by having dedicated manpower to address their concerns. This is our best way of seeking the assistance of the public to report to us immediately any rice trading violations they may witness,” Aquino said.
“Public participation is important. They will serve as our eyes and ears on the ground. They should be vigilant at all times and help us in monitoring the presence of rice in the market,” Aquino added.
The administrator also said that aside from the complaints received through the hotline, the food agency also intensified its market monitoring by deploying more teams to apprehend erring grains businessmen.
From April-May, the number of grains businessmen found violating trading laws almost tripled. From January-March, NFA apprehended only 614 violators while April-May inspections yielded 1,667 apprehensions nationwide. Most of the violations are: Operation without or non-renewal of NFA license; unreasonable depreciation of NFA rice stocks, and; improper display of price tag. The violators were meted a total of P490,329.00 in fines.
“We are already doing our job but it is really best if we can draw the cooperation of the public to stop NFA rice diversion, rebagging, overpricing, adulteration and all other illegal activities,” Aquino said.
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