Some typhoon victims in Virac, Catanduanes, said they received plastic bags full of expired rice during a relief operation.
According to Ian Simbulan’s “Stand for Truth” report on Monday, the residents said the rice had molds and was dark in color.
“Noong i-distribute namin na sako sako, may bumalik na ka-barangay ko, nagrereklamo na bulok daw ‘yung mga bigas nila. Mabaho at hindi na puwedeng kainin daw,” Barangay Igang chairman Ronnie Clemente said.
Some residents of Barangay Simamla also raised the same concern.
However, Virac Mayor Sinforoso Sarmiento refuted claims that the expired rice came from the local government.
“Hindi po galing sa amin iyon kasi ang ipinamimigay namin ay puti ang balot hindi yellow. Tapos wala po kaming old stock, nawawalan nga kami ng stock eh… Sa amin po yung mga nagpa-pack, inaano namin na mag-check ng quality,” he said.
Typhoon victims in Catanduanes receive expired rice
Meanwhile, Provincial Social Welfare Development Office said it immediately disposed of rice that is no longer safe to eat after the flood soaked it.
Local authorities also vowed to investigate the expired rice incident.
The strong winds of Super typhoon Rolly stripped the roofs of NFA warehouses in Catanduanes, causing the rice stored there to rot and put to waste.
The rice had turned yellowish and developed mold.
“Sa experience plus sa physical appearance niya, ‘yung amoy, lahat lahat, mukhang hindi na po siya dapat i-benta or i-dispose as feed ingredients,” NFA Bicol director Edna De Guzman said.
“Baka po lalo tayong magkaroon ng problema, maapektuhan ‘yung mga hayop na kakain nito,” she added.