Concerns Over Quality of Rice Given to Public School Teachers: Alliance Calls for Government Action
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers has expressed its concerns and called on the government to ensure the quality of the rice provided to public school teachers. The group has received complaints that the rice distributed in Nueva Ecija, Mindoro, and Bacolod City is inedible. According to Vladimer Quetua, the chairperson of the group, the teachers are extremely disappointed with the very poor quality of the rice they received, as it is almost inedible. The rice in Mindoro was reportedly discolored and had a foul smell, while the rice in Nueva Ecija appeared dark and appeared to be rotting. In Bacolod City, some teachers even fed the rice to their chickens due to its deteriorated condition.
Quetua further criticized the government, suggesting that it may have sought to dispose of rotten rice stocks from the warehouses of the National Food Authority by distributing them to the teachers. Public school teachers are entitled to a one-time rice allowance of 25 kilos, but the Alliance of Concerned Teachers claims that a significant portion of this allowance remains undistributed. Quetua also mentioned that despite the government’s directive from the previous year, which mandated the distribution of rice allowances, it is now almost the end of May and the teachers are still waiting for their entitlement. In some regions, teachers have been made to sign acknowledgment receipts even though they have not yet received the rice.
According to the group, the government allocated a budget of P1.183 billion for rice assistance to 1.83 million government employees, including public school teachers.