DA-Cagayan Valley probes illegal sale of hybrid rice seeds

The Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office 2 (Cagayan Valley) is investigating the illegal sale of hybrid rice seeds that are part of the government’s seed distribution program.

DA-RFO 2 Executive Director Narciso A. Edillo said they are coordinating with the National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine National Police, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, local government units, and private seed companies to track the perpetrators of the modus that was 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,” Edillo said.

Edillo noted that seeds are given free to qualified recipients under the seed component being implemented by the National Rice Program in tandem with LGUs and farmer’s cooperatives and associations.

He encouraged the public to immediately report to the DA, PNP, NBI, CIDG, and LGU any individual, group, or agricultural suppliers illegally selling these seeds.

In Cagayan Valley, Edillo said that seeds being distributed by DA RFO 2 are packaged at 15 kilograms. Sacks have the type of seeds, DA logo, variety, and “Not for Sale” tag.

The DA RFO 2 said the unauthorized sale is not in Cagayan Valley.

“Based on circulated photos and video footages, the reported seeds are not from Region 2 but other regions with five-kilogram packaging,” Edillo said.