NFA, church ease up rice distribution


Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:52:00 05/24/2008

CABANATUAN CITY, Philippines—To remedy the queue of residents buying government-subsidized rice, the National Food Authority in Nueva Ecija has started allocating more supply to families in the province.

Edelino Alejandro, NFA manager in Nueva Ecija, said his office has distributed allocation cards that entitle each family to buy up to seven kilograms of NFA rice twice weekly.

“Through this scheme, we are certain that we can ease the problem of many consumers here who go out early to join lines of buyers to buy two to three kg of rice in our outlets,” he said.

Alejandro said the system, which was implemented this week, would reduce the travel expense of buyers and time they were spending in line.

He said more than 1,000 allocation cards have been distributed to poor families in villages near the NFA warehouse in this city. The city welfare and development office provided the list of beneficiaries.

The cards have been “color coded” and could be used only on days specified there, he said.

Alejandro said other families not given allocation cards could buy their supply from several “Tindahan Natin” outlets in public markets, from several outlets authorized by the NFA and from three other NFA warehouses in the province.

The NFA sells rice at P18.25 a kilogram. The cheapest commercial rice is sold for P31 a kg.

Laguna

In Laguna, 14 more churches were expected to sell NFA rice to poor members of the community from the present nine parishes, according to a church worker last week.

Kelly Beltran of the San Pablo Diocesan Social Action Center told the Inquirer that nine parishes are selling rice at P18.50 per kilo under the Bigasan ng Parokya (BNP) program.

Beltran said the BNP rice project authorizes the parishes to dispose of at least 20 cavans of NFA rice every delivery schedule on a “consignment basis.”

Proceeds from the sale would be used for payment of the next batch of 20 cavans of rice, she explained.

Each poor family with six members and below is allowed to buy five kilos per selling schedule.

Buyers must be holders of a valid rice card pass (RCP) to be able to avail of the privilege with only one member of the family allowed to buy.

Relocation site

The nine parishes selling cheap NFA rice to poor families for months now include the St. Polycarp Parish in Cabuyao, particularly the Southville Relocation site, where four separate BNP centers are located.

This site is host of the Southville Housing Project, where around 10,000 families from demolished communities in Makati and Paco, Pandacan and Tondo, Manila are resettled.

Other parishes included in the program are St. John the Baptist Parish in Liliw; St. Magdalene in Magdalena town; St. Michael Archangel, Rizal town; St. Vincent Ferrer, Mamatid, Cabuyao; St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Calihan, San Pablo City; Nuestra Señora Del Remedios Parish, San Pablo City; San Antonio Parish, Kalayaan town; and San Sebastian Parish, Lumban.

Beltran said that among the 14 additional parishes expected to start selling cheap NFA rice were the San Pablo the First Hermit Cathedral Parish, San Pablo City; San Isidro Labrador Parish, Biñan town; and St. Gabriel Archangel Parish, San Pablo City. Anselmo Roque, Inquirer Central Luzon; Romulo Ponte, Inquirer Southern Luzon

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