2 ½ kilo of P20 NFA rice allowed per week

CEBU. The Cebu Provincial Government launched the Sugbo Merkadong Barato (SMB) on Tuesday, November 28, 2023, at the Talisay City Hall, where indigent Cebuanos can now purchase rice for P20 per kilogram.
CEBU. The Cebu Provincial Government launched the Sugbo Merkadong Barato (SMB) on Tuesday, November 28, 2023, at the Talisay City Hall, where indigent Cebuanos can now purchase rice for P20 per kilogram.Ralph Martinez

DUE to uncertainty in the supply of National Food Authority (NFA) rice, Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia has decided to limit the purchase of the NFA rice sold at P20 per kilo to the poorest of the poor from five kilos a week to two and a half.

In a meeting with all city and municipal Local Social Welfare and Development officers under the Cebu Provincial Government on Tuesday, December 5, Garcia said the NFA has reminded her that the agency has a dwindling supply of NFA rice.

NFA has a stockpile of only 3,000 sacks or bags of 50 kilos of rice.

Garcia said this will affect the continuity of the P20 NFA rice program.

She said she received reports that rice importers may be targeting NFA rice supplies due to the speculation that the Capitol was competing with the rice retailers.

But Garcia told the rice importers that the Province is not competing with them, as the subsidized rice program was controlled and intended only to the selected beneficiaries.

As of Tuesday, December 5, Garcia has halted the selling of the P20 per kilo NFA rice due to discrepancy in the poorest of the poor beneficiaries submitted to the Provincial Government from the local social welfare, much higher from the list from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) particularly under the Listahanan program.

Data from the DSWD showed that there are around 400,000 individuals who were considered “poor,” but only 199,000 were considered “poorest of the poor.”

"We are only selling this to the poorest of the poor," Garcia said.

On November 29, Garcia said based on the list submitted to them, the number of beneficiaries has reached 303,000, so she ordered the re-verifying and revalidation of the list.

During the meeting on Tuesday, it was reported that the revalidation was completed over the weekend.

Garcia also said Tuesday that the local government units (LGUs) have a list that is different from the DSWD data.

With the revalidation of the list, Garcia said that new QR-coded cards will be distributed by December 11-12 to the deserving recipients, signaling the resumption of the selling of the subsidized rice.

During the meeting, she asked to hasten the printing and lamination of the QR code cards within the week.

Garcia also called on the National Government to support the Cebu Province’s program by helping them look for rice supplies to be added to the NFA stockpile.

The Provincial Government has allocated P100 million for the purchase of NFA rice priced at P25 per kilo but will be sold to the recipient at P20 per kilo.

This means that the Province will lose P20 million of the initial budget allocation, but this will serve as an assistance given to the beneficiaries. (EHP)

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