‘TO HELP NEGRENSES’ | Farmers sell rice at P25 per kilo at Food Terminal Market

Situation at the Food Terminal Market of Occidental Negros in Bacolod City, where rice is being sold at P25 per kilo on Thursday, October 12. [Teresa Ellera photo]
Situation at the Food Terminal Market of Occidental Negros in Bacolod City, where rice is being sold at P25 per kilo on Thursday, October 12. [Teresa Ellera photo]

The Provincial Government Farmers from the Federation of Irrigators Association of Central Negros-Bago River Irrigation System (FIACN-BRIS) started to sell rice at P25 per kilo at a

Bigas Ng Bayan outlet at the Food Terminal Market of Occidental Negros (FTMON) in Bacolod City on Thursday, October 12.

Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson and Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Benitez led the opening of the facility on Thursday.

Pedro Limpangog, FIACN-BRIS president, said they have 45 sacks of rice for sale at P24 per kilo.

He said their decision to sell rice through the stall provided by the provincial government at FTMON is aimed "to help Negrense families, especially the vulnerable sector, buy affordable rice and, at the same time, help our farmers have an assured income, lower the cost, and improve farm production."

"This is our way of repaying the help of the provincial government," Limpangog said.

This is 10 percent of our rice production that we are selling to the public, he added.

Limpangog said that 44 irrigator associations are part of this collaboration and assured the public that stocks will be replenished.

Lacson said that if it can be sustainable, the program will be continued and other farmer groups will be tapped.

"When we offered them to work as job order employees of the Capitol to operate the farm machinery that we provided, we never gave any conditions," the governor pointed out.

He added that what the FIACN-BRIS did was part of their "corporate social responsibility."

"I was pleasantly surprised when I received their letter. I couldn't imagine that this group of farmers are willing to sell at that price knowing their plight. They struggle year in, and year out. But they are willing to share it with the community because of high inflation, the prices of rice are high," he added.

It was voluntary on their part, he said, adding that the farmers "want to help the consumers."

"These groups have "a very good track record in terms of productivity and their willingness to improve their production."

Consumers are only allowed to buy five kilos to ensure that everyone gets a chance to avail. 

Priority consumers are senior citizens, indigents, and persons with disability.

Benitez, for his part, said they will look into how to reduce the cost to farmers of producing rice.

"We are toying with the idea of how to help job orders like what the province did. The Department of Agriculture has existing programs in terms of mechanization, fertilizer assistance, and access to the Department of Labor and Employment’s Tupad (Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers) program to help reduce the cost of rice production. We want to raise the income of our farmers through some inputs that could be shouldered by the government," Benitez added.*

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