Parishes partner with NFA for "Bigasan sa Parokya"
by Peter A. Balocnit
Kabugao, Apayao (31 October) -- Government and the church are in tandem in providing interventions for the poor particularly on selling rice on subsidized prices.
Fr. Romeo Dawaton, Parish Priest of Kabugao, Apayao said he is happy that the National Food Authority (NFA) extended the Bigasan sa Parokya, which was availed by six parishes in the Apostolic Vicariate of Tabuk (AVT).
The Bigasan sa Parokya is a program tapping the parishes to sell government rice to the poor on subsidized process.
According to Dawaton, the program was implemented after the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) signed with Malacanang a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for government to provide supply of the staple food and the Catholic parishes to do the distribution.
Fr. Dawaton said when the parishes received the first release of 17 cavans in April this year, it was distributed free since the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes (PCSO) provided the payment as seed money.
At present, NFA supplies 100 cavans a month to the six partner parishes. They get their rice stocks from NFA Tabuk except for Rizal that gets its supply from NFA Babalag.
In the case of Kabugao, selling is centralized at the convent where the monthly quota is sold to individual buyers at a maximum of 20 kilos for those coming from far barangays.
"The scheme is adopted to enable everyone avail of the very low priced rice. The supply last for nine days and the next quota will only be released upon remittance of the payment", Fr. Dawaton explained.
NFA selling price per cavan is P837.50 and retailed in Kabugao at P22.00 a kilo. It is open to all barangays under the coverage of the parish, however, Fr. Dawaton appealed to well-off families to give way for the extreme poor.
Dawaton said the pass-on price is very low compared to commercial rice since Roosevelt Alitan of Poblacion, Kabugao volunteered his elf truck to transport the 200 cavans including that of Conner.
"We thank President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in forging a MOA with the CBCP on this noble endeavor of helping the poor get relieved of their woes", Dawaton said.
"The parish also expresses its gratitude to Alitan for his apostolate service, we only pay him the crude and oil of his truck", Dawaton added. (PIA-Kalinga) [top]