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Below-market KADIWA rice to be priced initially at P45-P48 per kilo

THE Department of Agriculture said on Monday that it will launch the sale of subsidized rice to the broader public via KADIWA stores, with initial pricing set at P45-P48 per kilogram.

Agriculture Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson Arnel V. de Mesa said that the subsidized rice program will offer well-milled rice, and is separate from another program targeted at vulnerable segments of society for P29.

“Due to the developments which have caused rice prices to fall, most likely, the selling price will also go down,” Mr. De Mesa told reporters.

The price of well-milled rice in Metro Manila markets was between P48 and P55 per kilo as of July 5, according to DA price monitors.

“The program will run parallel with the P29 rice. The participating KADIWA centers will be doubled next week. By August, Visayas and Mindanao will also be included,” he added.

The P29 rice is meant to be sold to persons with disabilities, solo parents, and senior citizens, as well as those below the poverty line, at 10 kilos per month, subject to monitoring via booklets issued to beneficiaries.

Rice sold at P29 will be taken from ageing stocks held by the National Food Authority.

He said that the DA is also studying whether to limit the quantities of rice sold at P45-P48.

The national network of KADIWA stories is at about 300 outlets, along with 119 pop-up stores operating on rotation.

“We want this to be a sustainable and long gestating program. Our target is for it to be implementable until the end of our President’s term,” Mr. De Mesa said. — Adrian H. Halili