Residents of Surigao Sur town get one sack of rice each from municipal government

A resident carries a sack of rice from a storage house in Carrascal, Surigao del Sur. Photo courtesy of Mayor VJ Hotchkiss Pimentel Facebook page

SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur (MindaNews / 15 July) — Eight thousand families in Carrascal town, Surigao del Sur received one sack of rice each from the municipal government as part of this year’s Pahinungod Festival on July 14-15.

Mayor Vicente Pimentel III said local revenues were used to purchase the rice worth 17 million pesos as payback to the residents of the town’s 14 barangays.

The mayor, son of the late Governor Vicente Pimentel Jr., said he was giving the rice to fulfill a promise he made during the campaign for the May 9 elections. He is now serving his third term.

Pimentel promised to give rice only to his supporters but decided last week to include all families in Carrascal regardless of who they voted for in light of economic hardships caused by inflation.
“Above all, the money bought for the rice assistance are funds of the people not my personal funds,” he said in an interview via a messaging app on social media.

“It’s deserving to reciprocate all the services to the people. This is not mine but government fund that belongs to the people,” he said.

He dismissed insinuations that the rice assistance was motivated by politics, citing that he has been doing it since his first term as mayor and at the height of the pandemic when people experienced economic difficulties.
“We have more programs and projects lined up in my last three years in office because I want to leave a legacy that my administration is service- and people-oriented,” he said.
In his Facebook post, Pimentel said: “Kuman ako tumanon an ako saad sa ila pero malisod sab na ‘Hugpong’ da an tagaan kay taga-Carrascal man gihapon sila, (I will now fulfill my promise to them but is not fair that only supporters of Hugpong Surigaonon would be given since we are all residents of Carrascal),” referring to voters who did not vote for his lineup during the last election. 
‘Tanan tagaan walay pili (All will be given, no distinction),” he added. (Chris V. Panganiban/MindaNews)