BOTOLAN, Zambales — Now it can be told, P20 per kilo rice has been realized, at least in a Zambales town.
The local government unit (LGU) of Botolan has initiated a subsidy program that can be a model in achieving the Marcos administration’s goal of slashing the price of rice to just P20 per kilo.
According to Botolan Mayor Jun Omar Ebdane, the rice subsidy program was launched last 12 July and will continue until 29 September.
The program aims to help the marginal sector of Botolan, as the mayor cited the program will aid the Aytas, farmers and fisherfolk of the town during the rainy season.
He said two LGU teams go out to the barangays on a thrice-a-week schedule and, with the help of village councils, distribute the rice at the discounted price of P100 for six kilos.
“That is around P16.67 per kilo,” Ebdane pointed out.
Ebdane said the rice subsidy program is a joint project of the Botolan LGU, the provincial government of Zambales, and the office of Rep. Doris Maniquiz of the second district of Zambales.
“Originally, our target price was P20 per kilo for five kilos. But Congresswoman Bing (Maniquiz) added a counterpart of one kilo, so it became six kilos for P100,” Ebdane added.
He said the rice supply sold at discounted prices are commercial-grade varieties sourced out from local rice growers.
He added that the rice subsidy program has been undertaken in Botolan since 2016 when Maniquiz was still the town mayor.
“I just adopted it because it really makes a difference to needy residents,” Ebdane added.
Since the program started out in July, Botolan has released some 580 cavans of rice, or more than 29,000 kilos to residents.
Botolan, which has the biggest land area among the 13 towns in Zambales, has a total of 31 barangays, some of them located in the rugged foothills near Mt. Pinatubo. It has a total population of 66,739 as of 2020.
“We did not set a limit to how many 6-kilo packages the residents may avail of,” Ebdane also pointed out.
“As long as they get stubs from their barangay, which is meant to check if the buyers are bona fide residents, then they can buy as much as they need.”
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