(file photo)

The Palawan Provincial Board (PB) will investigate the alleged selling of repacked imported rice in northern Palawan.

In his privilege speech Tuesday, Board Member Juan Antonio Alvarez said there is information that imported rice is being repacked to look like locally-produced and sold at a lower price.

“May case daw na ang rice from, I think south, ay pinapadala doon that are imported but being repacked as local rice just to drive the prices down. Maybe this can be investigated kasi marami daw and it is not the first time na ang rice from the south ay pinapadala sa Taytay. Instead of selling it as imported rice, they will repack it as a local product of Palawan,” he said.

Board members from southern Palawan called the information as “alarming” as they supported the move to investigate it.

“I am quite alarmed with the information given by Board Member Anton Alvarez regarding the repacking of rice to make it appear as a local product but ,in fact, it is imported. May we invite the National Food Authority (NFA), considering that they are the proper agency regulating this matter?” Board Member Ryan Maminta said.

Board Member Cesareo Benedito also said the imported rice may have come from Malaysia which is near Brgy. Mangsee in Balabac town.

“Ako ay naalarma din dito sa information na sabi nga ay nire-repack ang mga imported na bigas from south, in connection with that we should invite local traders from the south kasi kung NFA lang baka wala rin sila halos mabigay na information. Kailangan ksi dito ay malalim na inquiry kasi I doubt, noong nandoon ako ay wala naman ganon balita kaya I think galing ito ng Malaysia,” Benedito said.

Local traders and representatives from the Office of the Provincial Agriculture (OPA) and NFA will be invited for a committee meeting and an investigation.