GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 29 April) – The city government has purchased some 7,200 metric tons of imported rice worth around P305 million to augment its continuing relief operations for residents affected by the enhanced community quarantine.
Mayor Ronnel Rivera said Wednesday they expect the rice supplies, which were acquired in Vietnam through a private supplier, to arrive in the next few days at the Makar wharf here.
He said the shipment comprises some 288,000 bags of rice at 25 kilos each or a total of 7.2 million kilos.
The mayor said the cargo vessel carrying the rice shipment is currently in Cebu and unloading the supplies acquired by local government units in the area.
“The unloading in Cebu was actually delayed for several days because of port congestion but we were told that it is already being done and the vessel will proceed here after that,” he told reporters.
Rivera said they opted to import the rice supplies due to the limited standby stocks of the National Food Authority (NFA) provincial office here.
He said they have signed a memorandum of agreement with the food agency for the storage of the rice supplies in its warehouse here.
The mayor said the coming supplies will be combined with the 6,000 bags of rice earlier purchased by the local government from the NFA, bringing its total rice stocks to around 7.5 million kilos.
He said these will be distributed to the city’s 169,000 households in two waves in the next two months.
“We will be providing each household with two 25-kilo packs or equivalent to one sack of rice (50 kilos) as set in our response measure approved by the Sangguniang Panlungsod,” he said.
Rivera added that they had programmed to provide each household at least five kilos of rice for two months to help them cope with the impact of the quarantine measures.
Since last month, the city government has already released around P600 million for COVID-19 response, with the bulk of the funds utilized for the relief efforts.
The distributed relief assistance included assorted canned goods and noodles, pork and chicken meat, fish and vegetables. (MindaNews)