‘Romualdez Rice’ bags not authorized, says Speaker

‘Romualdez Rice’ bags not authorized, says Speaker

/ 05:30 PM June 24, 2024

Speaker says rice bags labeled ‘Romualdez Rice’ not sanctioned

Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and an image showing bags of “Romualdez Rice” | PHOTOS: Official Facebook page of the House of Representatives of the Philippines and Facebook account of Darling Lyzel

MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said bags of one-kilo rice labeled with his surname are not authorized by his office.

Social media were abuzz as photos showing the supposed distribution of “Romualdez Rice” in Tagum City, Davao del Norte surfaced.


But according to the top leader of the House of Representatives, “we didn’t sanction that”, when asked of his reaction to the social media posts.

“So that will be rectified but the most important thing is that we bring rice to every Filipino table at affordable prices,” he also told reporters in an ambush interview after meeting with rice industry stakeholders.

According to netizens who made the post, they allegedly received the one-kilo bag of rice during the Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair (BPSF) in Tagum City. Romualdez, along with 167 House lawmakers, were there to oversee the aid distribution.

Romualdez’s office said P913 million worth of government services and assistance were given to Tagum and Davao del Norte residents during the BPSF on June 21.

READ: Bagong Pilipinas caravan in Davao del Norte gives P913M aid, services

Critics have questioned the “Romualdez Rice” label but some Romualdez supporters have pointed out that during the BPSF aid distribution in Tagum City, five kilograms to 25 kilograms of rice were given away.


The bags of rice distributed during the official BPSF program likewise showed generic labeling, and not Romualdez’s name.

READ: Albano: Solons can attend aid distribution event for oversight duty only

Romualdez and key members of the lower chamber have been present in most of the Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo events, including the most recent one in Surigao del Sur where around P560 million worth of government services and assistance were given to 90,000 residents.

But this was not the first time that House members faced questions about their presence in the aid distribution. Last February, former senator Panfilo Lacson raised concerns about members of Congress partaking in the implementation of programs, particularly the Ayuda sa Kapos ang Kita Program (AKAP) and other Department of Social Welfare and Development projects.

Lacson said this role should be left with the executive, which is tasked to implement government aid programs.

Deputy Speaker Antonio Albano said back then that while he agrees with Lacson’s views, the lawmakers are not intervening with the executive’s role, adding that House lawmakers were only present for their oversight function and to make sure that the assistance and other programs under BPSF reach the target beneficiaries.

TAGS: cheap rice, Martin Romualdez

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