RICE STOCKS. Glenda Paz, acting branch manager of NFA in Negros Occidental province, shows to reporters the rice stocks being released under the one-time rice assistance for qualified employees and workers of national government agencies at the warehouse in Bacolod City on Thursday (June 8, 2023). In Negros Occidental, 73 percent or 5,800 bags of rice assistance have already been released to the beneficiaries who received 25 kilograms each. (PNA photo by Nanette L. Guadalquiver)

BACOLOD CITY – The National Food Authority (NFA) here has released 73 percent of the one-time rice assistance intended for qualified employees and workers of national government agencies in Negros Occidental province.

Glenda Paz, acting branch manager of NFA-Negros Occidental, said on Thursday the accomplishment translates to 5,800 bags already issued out of the 7,900 bags for distribution to more than 15,000 beneficiaries in the province.

“We hope by the third week of June, we can finish the issuance,” she said in a press conference.

Administrative Order No. 2, signed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., authorizes the grant of one-time assistance at a uniform quantity of 25 kilograms of rice to workers of national government agencies, employees of state universities and colleges, and uniformed service personnel.

The rice assistance shall be granted to beneficiaries who are still in the government service and/or engaged by government agencies as of Nov. 30, 2022, it added.

Paz noted the rice being distributed by the NFA here are produced by local rice farmers who sold their produce to the agency under the palay procurement program.

“These are mixed varieties. We have quality control measures that we implement everyday. We issue rice fit for human consumption,” she said.

The NFA official dismissed claims on social media that they are distributing “inedible rice”, but said that in case recipients have complaints or issues with the quality of rice, they would be willing to replace it with new stocks.

“We would like to ask for understanding. Our stocks inventory are ordinary rice from local farmers. We cannot provide you with ‘super white’ rice. We release whatever is available. If you have concerns, contact us directly. If you have issues, you can return it or we can pick it up so we can replace,” she added. (PNA)