'Inedible' rice given to Nueva Ecija teachers found safe for consumption – NFA

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 8) — The allegedly "inedible" rice distributed to teachers in Nueva Ecija was examined and confirmed to be "edible, in good condition, and safe for human consumption," according to the National Food Authority (NFA) Central Luzon office.

In a statement on Wednesday, NFA Central Luzon said it conducted a series of tests and investigations on the reported distribution of poor-quality rice through the one-time rice assistance to employees of the Department of Education (DepEd) in Nueva Ecija.

House Deputy Minority Leader and Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Party-list Rep. France Castro earlier said there were complaints that teachers in Nueva Ecija, Mindoro, Bacolod City, and Zamboanga del Norte received rice grains that were dark in color and had a foul smell.

READ: Congressional probe sought into 'inedible' rice given to teachers

"As of this date, all rice issued were found to be edible, in good condition, and safe for human consumption," the regional office said, referring to the rice grains distributed to Nueva Ecija.

The other regional offices in question have yet to release a statement.

However, NFA Central Luzon Regional Manager Alwin Uy told CNN Philippines that it is standard operating procedure of all NFA offices to "regularly and religiously [conduct] quality audit with Laboratory Analysis Report to be submitted to the Central Office Operations Department."

While he stressed that his office did not receive a formal complaint, Uy maintained that they welcome any investigation into the matter.

"Even DepEd, wala po sila natanggap na [they did not receive a] formal complaint from the teachers… We welcome any investigation regarding the matter para din po ma clear naman ang pangalan ng NFA [to clear NFA's name],” he said.