Kidapawan LGU’s rice aid for the poor of low quality, officials say

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 8 April) – The first set of relief aid for the poor in this city included poor quality rice, which has “bukbuk” (weevils) and stone grits in it, local government officials said.

Councilor Carlo Agamon, in his privilege speech Monday, first exposed the poor quality of the rice the city government purchased, mostly from the National Food Authority (NFA), and distributed, through the City Social Welfare and Development Office, to vulnerable sectors during this coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“The complaint highlighted on the alleged poor quality of rice. It has an ‘offensive’ odor, brownish in color, and ‘broken’. They also found ‘bukbuk’ or weevils and some stone grits mixed on it,” Agamon said.

Mayor Joseph Evangelista has admitted the issue on the rice and assured residents that the next food ration would include good quality of rice.

He said that since the city government bought 5,000 bags of rice for 43,000 households, those assigned to repack were overwhelmed with the quantity and failed to check the quality of the rice.

The residents who received the low quality rice were from Barangay Paco, according to Agamon.

He said he personally went to Barangay Paco to check. “In layman’s eyes, you really won’t be happy with the quality of the rice. I saw ‘bukbuk’ and stone grits,” he noted.

Agamon expressed his frustration knowing that council members had unanimously approved the release of P15.5 million for food aid.

The council further authorized Evangelista to use P29.1 million for the Economic Development Fund as additional relief aid.

Under the program, a poor household in the city will receive six kilos of rice, five sardines, one whole frozen dressed chicken, and vegetables.

But Agamon lamented that only a few households received the food ration.

“I requested during our regular session last Thursday that all households should receive the food aid as everyone was placed under strict home quarantine. But from the looks of it, only few were given the aid,” he pointed out.

For his part, Vice Mayor Jivy Roe “Jiv-Jiv” Bombeo said that they intend to make those responsible for the food aid to be held accountable and vowed that the foul-up will not happen again. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)