by Larry T. Lopez / PIA
TABUK CITY, Kalinga – The National Food Authority provincial office accredited 66 bigasan retailers to provide access to cheap quality rice to low-income families.
NFA-Kalinga Assistant Provincial Manager Ric Baliang said that application is still open for parties interested to become retailers. The agency aims to put up licensed bigasan outlets in all 152 barangays in the province.
Baliang said the move is in line with the NFA’s mandate to establish bigasan centers especially in remote areas where there is lack of market access.
He said their recent rice supply inventory showed sufficient stock at 12,000 bags with the delivery of additional 5,000 bags from NFA Region 2.
To assure availability of affordable government rice to poor consumers, NFA personnel conduct strict monitoring of bigasan outlets to check on illegal conversion of NFA rice to commercial rice.
He warned retailers to avoid from engaging in the malpractice to avoid penalties.
Licensed retailers sell NFA rice at P27 to 32 per kilo.
Interested retailers must secure an application form from the licensing officer upon payment of application fee.
The application with complete requirements must be filed with the licensing officer who will check the documents and determine the corresponding license fee. The applicant must prepare the facilities/equipment requirements to be inspected by NFA investigators.
After inspection, the applicant must present notice of inspection to the licensing officer, the official receipt, and proof of compliance with deficiencies, if any before the licensing officer issues the permit, which will be given only if the application is in order.