Additional rice assistance distributed in GenSan

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 22 May) – The city government has started the distribution of additional rice assistance to residents here as part of is continuing relief efforts amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.

Dave Arreglado, executive assistant for investment and tourism of the city mayor’s office, said Friday they delivered an initial 50,000 bags of rice at 25 kilograms each to five of the city’s 26 barangays.

He said the shipment, which was the first batch of the 288,000 bags of imported rice ordered by the local government, arrived aboard a cargo vessel at the Makar wharf here on Thursday.

The arrival of the rice supplies, which came from Thailand and not Vietnam as earlier announced, was delayed for over a week due to shipping constraints in the wake of the pandemic.

The shipment underwent inspection by the Bureau of Customs and quality check by local government personnel following its unloading.

“These were immediately released to the recipient-barangays for distribution,” Arreglado said in a statement.

The initial recipients were residents of Barangays Apopong, San Isidro, Lagao, Ligaya and Dadiangas East.

Harold Aponesto, a coordinator of the city government’s relief distribution, said the rice supplies were delivered to drop-off points identified by the barangays and eventually released to the purok leaders.

He said the purok leaders were tasked to distribute the rice packs to all listed household-beneficiaries within their areas.

“The distribution is door-to-door or directly to the households as ordered by (City Mayor Ronnel Rivera),” he said in a radio interview.

Aponesto said they expect the arrival in the coming days of the remaining rice shipments and complete the distribution before the end of May.

He assured that all 169,311 households in the city will receive the 25-kilogram “Jasmine rice” pack.

The rest of the supplies will be given to households that were not included in the list as well as the “home for the aged” and orphanages based in the city, he added. (MindaNews)