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Cebu begins sale of ₱20 per kilo rice

Cebu (CNN Philippines, November 28) — Cebuanos can now purchase rice for ₱20 per kilo as the provincial government launched the Sugbo Merkadong Barato (SMB) pop up stores on Tuesday.

The price of rice of the National Food Authority (NFA) will be subsidized by the provincial government with an initial budget of ₱100 million for its first tranche.

Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia expects that for the P100 million NFA rice purchase, there will be a loss of ₱20 million to keep the price low.

The new program was launched in Talisay City with House Speaker Martin Romualdez joining local officials, among them mayors and congressmen.

Governor Garcia said the SMB is a way to help fulfill President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s promise to keep grain prices affordable.

However, the only ones qualified to purchase the cheap NFA rice will be indigent families in Cebu who were pre-listed by the town and city social welfare office.

They are allowed to purchase up to five kilos of the staple per week.

Garcia asked Romualdez to help support the program by making sure that the NFA will be able to help SMB in terms of supply.

Romualdez, meanwhile, said he will support Cebu’s initiative, adding that it should be replicated nationwide.

“Hahanap tayo ng paraan para ang mai-supply nating NFA rice ay sapat para maging sustainable itong programa ni Gov,” he said.

[Translation: We will find a way to supply the NFA rice to make the governor’s program sustainable.]

Aside from cheap NFA rice, the SMB pop up stores will also sell vegetables, fruits, fish, and meat at lower prices compared with those in regular public markets.

These items will be available from Monday to Friday in specific locations in the 50 towns and cities of Cebu.

San Miguel Foods also participated in the SMB by selling chicken and sausages at lower prices compared with the ones in supermarkets.

Garcia earlier said the budget for the SMB has already been included in the province’s annual budget, which means the program will continue in 2024.

Residents welcomed the opening of the SMB, saying it will help their families.

Cebu-based correspondent Dale Israel contributed to this story. QR Code

Published Date: November 28, 2023

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