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PIA Press Release

NFA denies allegations of underdelivery of fortified rice in East and North Samar

Tacloban City (October 19) -- National Food Authority (NFA) Assistant Regional Director Adorable, during a press conference conducted at the Department of Education Regional Office 8 on October 17, denied allegations of 20% underdelivery of rice for the Food for School Program of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Director Adorable also vehemently denied that some of the rice delivered have been exchanged with regular rice instead of the iron fortified rice that is required.

He agreed there may be some delays because of the road condition and the inavailability of trucks that would haul the fortified rice, but this is very seldom, he added.

He also emphasized the fact that several schools in the provinces of Northern and Eastern Samar are not easily accessible.

Director Adorable bared that for 2007-2008, the delivery for Eastern Samar is 84.96 complete while that of Northern Samar is 50% complete already.

The explanation of Director Adorable is the inaccuracy of the data posted in the website of school beneficiaries as to the total number of enrolment. It was only two weeks ago when NFA was given the final number of beneficiaries.

The quality of rice which is required in the Food for School Program is the Iron Fortified Rice or well milled rice, Director Adorable said. The Iron Fortified Rice is still being imported from Vietnam and Thailand because the equipment is not yet available.

However, even if it will take time before the imported rice arrives, the NFA does the fortification manually, Director Adorable said.

Director Adorable said that the quality of rice is closely scrutinized before delivery to the school beneficiaries. He informed that pre-school and grade I pupils are given 1 kilo of rice per family every day for 120 days.

The Food For School Program of President Arroyo is meant as a hunger mitigation and nutrition program. It is also meant to reduce the number of drop outs from school. (PIA 8) [top]

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