In the Philippines, the Cebu Provincial Government launched Sugbo Merkadong Barato (SMB), a program aiming to sell rice at 20 PHP per kilo to indigent families. Each beneficiary is allowed a maximum of 5 kilos of rice per purchase in a week.
The province budgeted 100 million PHP for the purchase of 80,000 bags of rice from the National Food Authority (NFA).
The rice will be distributed to the 50 local government units of Cebu province. Officials and workers of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will conduct surveys to identify qualified beneficiaries. Each of the beneficiaries will be given ID cards with QR codes to track rice purchases.
House Speaker Martin Romualdez commended the Cebu provincial government and Governor Gwen Garcia for their efforts to accomplish the sale of 20 PHP per kilo of rice. “Many say that it is impossible. But as Cebu has done, as it did many times in the past, it has made dreams a reality,” he said, referring to President Marcos Jr.’s campaign promise of reducing the price of rice to 20 PHP.
Governor Garcia stated that the program was a collaboration of government agencies and concerned sectors. She said, “The provincial government is doing its best that it can to support the President that we cast our votes for. It is incumbent upon each and every one of us to help our President.”
According to the provincial government, the selling of 20 PHP per kilo will continue until supplies run out. Aside from rice, residents can also avail themselves of fresh farm produce and seafood for affordable prices at the SMB pop-up stores.