Gov’t to distribute ‘smuggled rice’ in three WV provinces

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By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is scheduled to distribute a portion of the confiscated smuggled rice to three provinces in Western Visayas on Friday, October 6.

Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office VI (DSWD-6) director Carmelo Nochete confirmed to Daily Guardian that Marcos will be personally distributing the rice subsidies to poor families in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique; Kalibo, Aklan; and Roxas City in Capiz.

25-kilo rice packs will be distributed to 1,000 beneficiaries of the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in every province.

“Ang mga beneficiaries, tanan sanda nga 1,000 mga 4Ps beneficiaries ini sila nga daad,” said Nochete.

Nochete said the local government unit’s preparation for the president’s arrival on Friday is still ongoing.

Sacks of rice have already arrived at the Binirayan Sports Complex in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique on Monday.

Nochete said the DSWD-6 is still unsure if there will be distribution of smuggled rice to other provinces in the region.

“Wala pa anay, tatlo lang anay ang na identify sang Office of the President,” he said.

The rice to be distributed is part of the 42,180 sacks of smuggled rice worth P42 million seized by the Bureau of Customs from a warehouse in Brgy. Baliwasan, Zamboanga City in September.

Subsequently, the smuggled rice was turned over to the DSWD.

During the distribution of the sacks of rice to beneficiaries in the City of Manila on September 26, Marcos said that the distribution to qualified beneficiaries underwent the “right process” including investigation, apprehension, and the assurance that it is safe for consumption.

“Dumaan po ito sa tamang proseso ng imbestigasyon, pagkumpiska at inspeksyon upang matiyak na ito ay ligtas na ipamahagi sa mga nangangailangan,” he said.