The Bureau of Plant Industry Quarantine Service (BPIQS) certified that the imported rice from Thailand is free of weevils and safe to eat after undergoing fumigation and aeration.
BPIQS Bicol Manager Danilo Doblon said that they have already recommended the discharge and distribution of the 200,000 sacks of rice on board MV Emperor at the Tabaco City Port where weevils were already found dead.
He said that phosphine tablet, a chemical that kills pests then evaporates was used as a fumigant. He guaranteed that the rice is safe to eat because it was aerated or exposed to the air after the fumigation process.
Doblon added that fumigation is a normal process done to imported farm products to ensure that they are free from infestations.
Meanwhile, National Food Authority (NFA) Bicol Regional Director Henry Tristeza said the BPIQS has already issued a quarantine certificate on September 2 but the inclement weather in Albay is causing delays in transporting the imported rice to their respective warehouses in the Region.
Officials of NFA Bicol also tested the imported rice by cooking and eating them in the presence of media practitioners in Albay to ensure that the said rice stock is safe for human consumption. (Reports from Radyo Veritas Legazpi)