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Department Of Agriculture To Launch PHP29 Rice Program Trial In 10 NCR, Bulacan Sites

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Department Of Agriculture To Launch PHP29 Rice Program Trial In 10 NCR, Bulacan Sites

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The Department of Agriculture (DA) said Thursday it would launch its large-scale trial for the P29 Program in 10 select sites in Metro Manila and Bulacan starting Friday.

The P29 Project refers to the subsidized sale of the National Food Authority’s (NFA) aging stock rice at PHP29 per kg. to the vulnerable sector, including members of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), senior citizens, persons with disability (PWD), and solo parents.

”This large-scale trial aims to gather comprehensive data on supply demand and logistics essential for the smooth nationwide rollout of the program,” DA Assistant Secretary Genevieve-Velicaria Guevarra said in a press conference.

The expanded trial sites now include the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) Dome and National Irrigation Administration (NIA) in Quezon City; the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) in Malate, Manila; Food Terminal Inc. in Taguig City; Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PHILFIDA) in Las Piñas; Bayani Fernando Central Terminal or BFCT and Barangay Fortune in Marikina; and sites in Caloocan, Valenzuela, and San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.

Beneficiaries in the vulnerable sector may access the PHP29-per-kg. rice every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Guevarra, meanwhile, said they have set a purchase limit per household, considering the 10,000 metric tons (MT) of aging rice stock on hand, which can last up to six months.

“We have set the limit to 10 kilos a month per household, and they can buy in 5-kilo increments. The large-scale simultaneous trial shall be supported by key officials in 10 Kadiwa sites,” she said.

Each site will receive a 300-sack allocation per week benefiting 1,500 families or equivalent to about 60,000 households per month.

To avoid excessive purchases or unauthorized use of identification cards in vulnerable sectors, Guevarra mentioned the distribution of booklets in August.

”We have prepared a booklet, iyong parang pang-senior citizen para ma-monitor kung sino iyong nag-a-avail at tatatakan natin iyon (just like with senior citizens, to monitor who can avail of this and we will mark it),” she added.

Guevarra said this would help prevent abuse of the program alongside coordination with the Farmers’ Cooperative Association and the local government units (LGU).

“We are seeing in the long run, kailangan may coordination sa LGU and barangay kasi sila ang mas nakakakilala, mas nakakaalam sa mga beneficiaries ng (there should be coordination with the LGUs and barangays because they know them better, they know who are the beneficiaries in the) vulnerable sector,” she said.

For now, the DA urged the target beneficiaries to bring their identification cards to avail of the program.

 

Nationwide P29 program

Guevarra, meanwhile, said the DA intends to launch a nationwide P29 program shortly after its large-scale trial.

“In the coming months, we are expecting to double the size where the P29 rice selling will be held,” she said, citing plans to include areas in the Visayas and Mindanao.

“Padagdag nang padagdag hanggang sa ma-reach natin iyong target natin na nationwide na 6.9 million families na apektado o nasa vulnerable sector (It is adding up until we reach our 6.9 million target families nationwide that are under the vulnerable sector),” DA Assistant Secretary Arnel De Mesa added.

De Mesa also mentioned another rice program that aims to benefit the general public.

“We will call it na rice-for-all na mas mababa pa rin ang presyo (where rice is sold at a cheaper price),” he said.

De Mesa said the price per kg. for the rice-for-all may range from PHP45 to PHP48.

To date, the prevailing price per kg. of local regular milled rice in Metro Manila ranges from PHP48 to PHP52; and for local well-milled rice, from PHP48 to PHP55, according to DA Bantay Presyo (Price Watch).

The price per kg. of imported regular milled rice ranges from PHP47 to PHP51, and well-milled rice, from PHP52 to PHP55.

Besides cheaper rice, the public may also access cheaper meat, vegetables, and other agricultural items in DA’s expanded Kadiwa sites. (PNA)