Loboc Mayor Leon Calipusan on Monday expressed dismay over the alleged allocation of foul-smelling rice from the Capitol for supposed relief distribution to workers in the tourism industry which has been heavily hit by the ongoing health crisis.
“Akong gikasakitan ngano naa may bahong bugas na ihatod diri sa akong lungsod, labayanan lang ta ani og mga reject na pagkaon. Usa unta na gipada diri ila unta ng gisusi,” said Calipusan.
According to Calipusan, he initially received reports on the off smell of the rice which he then verified and later proved to be true.
“Bag-o pa ko nakahibaw ani na naa diay mga bugas ani na wa e-claim tungod kay baho. Pag-anha nako, tinuod g’yud na baho,” he said.
The rice distributed by the Capitol through the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) arrived in Loboc in mid-October.
The Chronicle reached out to PSWDO chief Mita Tecson for comment but did not get an immediate response.
While the rice stocks left with the Loboc government were allegedly foul-smelling, Calipusan has yet to verify if some of those that have already been distributed also emitted an off smell.
According to Calipusan, the town has around 1,000 employees in the tourism sector who were displaced due to the pandemic.
He said around 700 have received the rice subsidy from the provincial government while 300 bags of rice have yet to be claimed.
Calipusan, saying that he felt “insulted” by the allocation of poor-quality rice for his town, added that he will coordinate with the PSWDO for replacement of the stocks or to have these returned.
“Imbis malipay ko na kaming mga taga Loboc gitagaan og ayuda, pero ang gihatag na ayuda dili maayong klase na bugas,” he said.
The municipal chief executive explained to affected tourism industry workers in his town, which is one of the province’s top tourism draws through the world-renowned Loboc River, that they are not getting their rice allocation due to its poor quality as he will be returning these to the PSWDO.
Earlier, the provincial government announced that it was distributing P8.9 million worth of rice to affected workers in the tourism industry throughout the province.
Tecson previously said that each beneficiary will get 10 kilos of rice from the National Food Authority. (A. Doydora)