The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has thanked the government of the Republic of Korea for its P10 million-rice donation which is expected to benefit more than 33,000 poor households in the country.
“We are grateful for your utmost consideration for our people and we hope that this partnership will continue to prosper in the years to come,” DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista said during a recent turnover ceremony at the DSWD National Resource Operations Center (NROC) in Pasay City.
“During these trying times, we emerge stronger because of our robust partnership and unwavering engagement,” he added.
Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Han Dong-man turned over the 200 metric tons of locally-produced and well-milled rice, valued at US$200,000 or almost PhP10 million, to Bautista last July 17.
“Korea will continuously expand bilateral aid projects in the public health and social development sectors to contribute to the effort of the Philippine government in overcoming the COVID-19 crisis,” Han said.
The DSWD said the rice donation was made possible through the Emergency Rice Support Project of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the grant aid agency of the Korean Government.
“An estimated 33,334 households or 166,670 individuals are expected to be the recipients of the donation,” it said.
It said the rice donation was locally-sourced and benefited Filipino farmer groups from Western Visayas, including the San Miguel Farmers Agriculture Cooperative (SMFAC); Iloilo Rice Processing Complex in Pototan, Iloilo; and other local farmers’ cooperatives.
According to the DSWD National Resource and Logistics Management Bureau (NRLMB), the first batch of 100 metric tons of rice from Iloilo was received last July 8 and the second shipment of 100 metric tons arrived on July 11 and 12.
“The rice donation will be repacked by DSWD and will form part of the Department’s Family Food Packs which are being provided as resource augmentation support to local government units to help them respond to the food needs of their constituents,” the DSWD said.
Based on the DSWD-Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC) report as of July 11, 6 p.m, over 1.36 million family food packs (FFPs) worth about P629.97 million have been distributed nationwide as part of its augmentation support to the local government units (LGUs) during this time of pandemic.