Unlucky drivers complain of smelly rice, expired Lucky Me noodles in City Hall’s food packs; little mayor assures action

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BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Members of an activist transport group here have been complaining over food packs distributed by City Hall, which they claimed, contained “stinky” low-cost rice and expired instant noodles.

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“We were glad the city government distributed food but we never expected that it would contain expired food and rice that stinks,” transport leader Diego Malacad told DNX in Hiligaynon.

Photo of expired noodles. | Photo from Diego Malacad
Photo of expired noodles. | Photo from Diego Malacad

Malacad, secretary general of the United Negros Drivers and Operators Center, said the complaints came from an estimated 200 beneficiaries who are members of local transport group under UNDOC.

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He said most of them had been texting him since last night to complain about the instant noodles, mostly extra hot pancit canton variants, that were labeled “EXP 5 September 2020” on the front part of the plastic packs, photos Malacad sent to DNX showed.

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Malacad added the “returned” noodles from his members in Handumanan village alone are about to fill a sack already.

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Aside from the “expired” noodles, Malacad said drivers have also complained of stinky NFA rice.

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“You can catch a whiff of the smell as soon as you open it,” Malacad said, recounting his experience about the food pack that consists, according to City Hall announcements, of seven kilos of rice, several packs of noodles, and canned goods.

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The local government here had rushed last week to buy food packs after the national IATF placed this city under a modified enhanced quaratine state, an announcement made 7 September during a livestreamed Cabinet meeting of President Duterte.

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The modified ECQ took effect the next day.

NFA rice, widely perceived even among the lower classes as low-grade and laced with chemicals, sells between P28 to P44 per kilo, significantly lower than well-milled rice.

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BRING TO DSSD’S CONCERN

City Administrator Em Ang told DNX she had heard of Malacad’s complaint and will be referring this to the DSSD.

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Ang said she will also call the attention of Pacita Terro who heads the local DSSD.

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