Cagayan, Philippines - Two dealers in Cagayan and one in Isabela were apprehended for their alleged illegal sale of hybrid rice seeds which are being distributed for free by the Department of Agriculture as part of its seed distribution program.
Around mid-month of November, a video uploaded by Aileen Ruiz Reyno went viral. The video showed that stickers were used to cover the “Not for Sale” tag of the three bags containing five kilograms of rice seeds each. They bought the bags for P250.
Reyno expressed frustration over such a malicious act.
“Dapat libre yun na binigay sa mga magsasaka pero bakit binebenta sa market. Nakaka-disappoint lang po na may ganitong mga nangyayari na kailangan pong masolusyunan para sa magsasaka po,” she said when interviewed by News5.
DA 2 condemns the illegal acts of selling hybrid seeds
In a statement, the Regional Field Office of DA 2 condemned the “illegal acts of selling seeds to the public as shown in social media.”
“We condemn to the highest level such that will not only affect the implementation of government programs but our farmers who will be again victims of this controversy,” stressed Regional Executive Director Narciso A. Edillo.
Edillo explained the seeds are given free to qualified recipients under the seed component being implemented by the National Rice Program in partnership with the local government units, and farmer cooperatives and associations.
He claimed that the reported seeds are not from Region 2 since the seeds they distribute are packaged at 15 kilograms, not five.
3 dealers caught
On November 25, Edillo through his interview with Bombo Radyo Cauayan confirmed the arrest of three possible dealers responsible for the illegal sale.
He revealed that most of the confiscated seeds are from Region 3 while others are from Region 1.
According to Edillo, their department has already coordinated with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), LGUs, Philippine National Police, and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for the arrest of other dealers involved in the said dale.
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