Congressional probe sought into 'inedible' rice given to teachers

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 6) — A lawmaker wants Congress to investigate the "inedible" rice distributed by the government to public school teachers as a one-time rice allowance.

House Deputy Minority Leader and Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Party-list Rep. France Castro made the call in a statement on Tuesday, as she took note of complaints that rice recently given to teachers in Nueva Ecija, Mindoro, Bacolod City, and Zamboanga del Norte appear to be no longer safe for consumption.

Castro quoted ACT chairperson Vladimer Quetua as saying some teachers received rice grains that were yellowish or dark in color, which had a bad smell, or were already infested with bukbok or rice weevils. The congresswoman also said teachers in other areas have yet to receive the aid.

"Nasayang lamang ang buwis ng mamamayan sa bigas na hindi makain at nainsulto pa ang ating mga guro na umaasa sa kaunting benepisyong kanilang matatanggap," Castro said. "Sa ganitong kalagayan ay dapat na imbestigahan ito ng Kongreso pero dapat din na maibigay na ang rice assistance at tiyakin na angkop ang kalidad nito."

[Translation: Taxpayers’ money was wasted on rice that cannot be eaten, and this is also an insult to teachers who are anticipating the little benefits they will receive. Congress should immediately probe this so the teachers get the rice assistance of appropriate quality.]

Under an administrative order signed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in December last year, government employees, including public school teachers, are entitled to a one-time 25-kilo rice assistance from the national government. [LINK: Gov’t workers to get service incentive, rice allowance]

CNN Philippines has contacted the National Food Authority (NFA) for comment through the contact details indicated on its website.

In April, the Department of Budget and Management said it released around ₱1.18 billion to the NFA for the grant of the rice assistance to all qualified government employees.