Palace assures stable supply of rice, chicken, pork during ECQ

Published April 22, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Genalyn Kabiling

Consumers need not worry about the supply of rice, chicken, and pork in the market during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period in Luzon, according to a Palace official.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles  (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles has assured the public that the supply of these food items remains at stable levels based on the report of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

“Para naman po sa atin na kailangan manatili sa sariling tahanan sa kalagitnaan ng ECQ, huwag po kayong mag-alala. Sinisiguro ng Department of Agriculture na sapat ang ating bigas at essential food items tulad ng manok at baboy (For people who need to stay at home during the ECQ, do not worry. The Department of Agriculture has assured that there is enough supply of rice and essential food items such as chicken and pork),” he said during a virtual press conference on Tuesday.

“At present, the Department of Agriculture is undertaking efforts to ensure a sufficient supply of rice by the end of June equivalent to around 18 million metric tons which is sufficient for 84 days,” he said.

He said the DA has also projected the chicken supply to reach 1.95 million metric tons that will be “sufficient for 62 days.” Pork supply is expected to reach 1.12 million metric tons, enough for 10 days.

“Sa madaling salita, may pagkain po tayo at hindi po tayo mauubusan ng supply sa ating mga merkado (In other words, we have food and we will not run out of supply in the markets),” Nograles said.

He said the agriculture department also continues to provide assistance to farmers affected by the coronavirus-related quarantine.

As of April 14, the DA has spent P645 million in financial subsidy for 52,043 rice farmers. The P3-billion financial subsidy program is expected to benefit 591,246 rice farmers during the quarantine period.

The agriculture department has also offered a zero-interest loan program for marginalized small farmers and fisherfolk as well as agri-based micro and small enterprises.

4.5 million poor families given cash aid

Around a quarter of the 18 million targeted poor households had so far received financial aid from the government this month.

Nograles said the Department of Social Welfare and Development has given cash aid to 4,597,854 low income families and Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) families under the emergency subsidy program. This is equivalent to 25.54 percent of the 18 million target beneficiaries.

Nograles also reminded local government units to submit their accomplishment report on the aid distribution.

He noted that more than 90 percent of the funds have already been released to various local government units for the emergency subsidy program.

“Hinihintay po namin ang accomplishment report ng mga LGUs na nakatanggap na ng emergency subsidy program para ipamahagi sa kanilang mga constituents. So reminder lamang sa LGUs na i-transmit na ang inyong mga accomplishment report (We are waiting for the accomplishment report from LGUs that received the emergency subsidy program to be distributed to their constituents. This is a reminder to the LGus to transmit their accomplishment report),” he said.

The P200-billion emergency subsidy program is part of the government’s response measures to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the people. It seeks to distribute cash aid from P5,000 to P8,000 to low income households depending on the minimum wage level of a region for the months of April and May.

The DSWD has received P100 billion for the implementation of the assistance to individuals in crisis program.