Rice assistance to Nueva Ecija teachers are “laon” and edible

CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija — A personnel of the National Food Authority (NFA) in this city denies that the rice assistance provided to public school teachers in Nueva Ecija were inedible.

The NFA personnel, who do not want to be identified, said that news reports that “The rice distributed in Nueva Ecija were blackish and appeared to be rotten” were inaccurate.

The rice released by the NFA in Nueva Ecija as a one-time rice assistance to public school teachers were those that were milled by the agency during the rice lean months last year and is considered as “laon” but are still edible and fit for human consumption, the NFA insider disclosed.

On the other hand, Liza Sacdalan, chairperson of the Central Luzon Organic Rice Producers Association (CLORPA) explained that NFA milled rice that were processed in the months of July/August last year has the tendency to have discoloration compared to newly milled or processed rice.

“Laon” rice is still edible but has bland taste compared to newly processed rice and consumers have to wash it at least two to three times before cooking,” Sacdalan noted.

Regarding the bad smell of a milled rice, several factors should be considered particularly on the quality and storage process of the grain, Sacdalan noted.

She explained that ” kung dumilaw lang at wala namang amoy ay pwede pa ring kainin. Huhugasan nga lang mabuti. Mabuti sana kung ang nalaon ay palay at bagong giling ay mainam pa sana yon kaysa bigas na matagal ng nagiling at nalaon. Medyo matabang na nga lang pero good pa rin sa pagkain.”

It was also learned that the Department of Education (DepEd) has a focal person in charge of facilitating the release of the rice assistance by the NFA.

The NFA personel said the DepEd focal person is tasked to get the acknowledgment receipts of the teacher beneficiaries and the rice allocations released to the said person.

With report from RAMON EFREN LAZARO