Thanks to the appropriations included in the Php3.35-trillion 2017 national budget signed by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte last week, cops and soldiers will finally receive the much-awaited rice allowance starting January 2017 – and this will come in the form of cash, not rice or rice vouchers to ensure no corruption in the procurement of rice and equivalent vouchers.
Who are Eligible for the Rice Subsidy?
Under the special provisions, ‘cops and soldiers’ are not just limited to the personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) but also those from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), as well as other relevant agencies under the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of National Defense (DND).
How Much is the Rice Subsidy?
The special provisions state that the rice incentive “shall be given in the form of cash allowance equivalent to 20 kilos per month.”
It is unclear at this point, however, how much the uniformed personnel will actually receive as rice prices vary. It is possible that the government will use the prevailing rates from the National Food Authority (NFA) – if that is the case, then the rice subsidy will be at least Php540 (Php27 x 20kg).
It is also unclear as of press time whether the rice subsidy will be the same for everyone, regardless of rank or designation.