DA eyes ‘Rice for All’ launch, P29 expansion on Friday

2024 July 10

RICE FOR ALL. Agriculture Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa says the Rice for All program may be launched on Friday (July 12, 2024) to benefit the general population with cheaper rice, during an interview in Quezon City on Wednesday (July 10). He said the price range may be around PHP45 per kilogram to PHP48/kg. 

MANILA – The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Wednesday said they are eyeing to launch the Rice for All program on Friday to benefit the general population, with its initial target price range set at PHP45 per kilogram to PHP48/kg. of mixed imported and local well-milled rice.

In an interview, DA Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa said this might be done alongside the P29 program expansion or the sale of aging but good-quality rice to the vulnerable sector in three additional sites in Malabon, Navotas, and Marikina.

This covers the members of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), senior citizens, solo parents, and persons with disabilities (PWDs).

“May mga clamor talaga na iyong mga hindi eligible, kagaya ng mga construction workers, mga (There’s really a clamor that those who are not eligible, like construction workers, the) drivers, they really wanted to be part of the P29 program,” De Mesa said.

“Pero (But) since they are not part of the initially identified sector, so doon sila ngayon mabibilang sa (so they will be benefited in the) Rice for All… This week, most likely,” he added.

De Mesa said the Rice for All program shall be launched in areas with Kadiwa sites.

Outside NCR

Next week, the DA will further expand its P29 program to Metro Manila’s nearby provinces including select areas in Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas.

These are in addition to the earlier areas where the large-scale trial was initially launched on July 5, namely the Bureau of Animal Industry Dome and National Irrigation Administration in Quezon City; the Bureau of Plant Industry in Malate, Manila; Food Terminal Inc. in Taguig City; Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority in Las Piñas; Bayani Fernando Central Terminal or BFCT and Barangay Fortune in Marikina; and sites in Caloocan, Valenzuela, and San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.

The DA earlier said they were targeting to expand both the P29 and Rice for All programs in Visayas and Mindanao in August.

De Mesa, meanwhile, explained that these areas were initially chosen considering the existing Kadiwa sites and the strong participation of local government units (LGUs) in DA’s Kadiwa program.

To date, the DA is conducting demand and population-based evaluations in the large-scale trial sites to identify the needed tweaks in the P29 program to ensure “proportionate” rice allocation.

Under the P29 program, a 10-kilogram in 5-kilo increments purchase limit is set per household.

As of Wednesday, the DA reported benefiting around 14,429 households in the initial 10 sites for the P29 program, equivalent to 72,000 kg or 1,442 sacks of rice for the first three days of its launching. 

Stephanie Sevillano (PNA)