Rice retailers have welcomed the government's cash aid, stating that it will significantly help small businesses cope with the effects of Executive Order (EO) No. 39 while the country awaits the palay harvest season.
President Marcos issued EO No. 39, implementing a price cap on rice to address the rising cost of the staple due to hoarding and price manipulation. I Photo: Department of Agriculture Philippines
This development comes as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) initiated the payout of cash assistance under the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) for micro rice retailers in Parañaque City.
Simultaneous cash aid distribution also took place in Navotas City and Zamboanga del Sur. Meanwhile, Mayor Miguel Ponce III of Pateros requested a payout rescheduling in his locality for Tuesday, Sept. 12.
Evangeline de Rojas, a rice retailer from Navotas, expressed, "The assistance provided is a big help to us."
Social Welfare Secretary Rex Gatchalian mentioned that the DSWD began granting livelihood support to micro and small rice retailers last Saturday in Quezon City, as well as in the cities of San Juan and Caloocan. Approximately 300 retailers received P15,000 each.
As part of this ongoing effort, the government aims to provide cash aid to around 400 rice retailers in Parañaque, Navotas Cities, and Zamboanga del Sur on Monday.
Gatchalian added that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is considering extending similar assistance to small sari-sari store owners, describing the recent aid distribution as "very smooth."
"We would prefer the DTI to provide more lists for simultaneous nationwide distribution of aid," Gatchalian stated during the Gising Pilipinas Program on DWPM.
The government has allocated an estimated P1 billion for the grant of assistance to eligible cash aid beneficiaries, identified by the DTI as qualified retailers.
This assistance aligns with the directives of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to support small-scale business owners who have been directly affected by the imposition of rice price ceilings.
According to Gatchalian, major rice-producing areas have commenced their palay harvest, which is expected to lead to a drop in rice prices as more supply enters the market.
President Marcos issued EO No. 39, implementing a price cap on rice to address the rising cost of the staple due to hoarding and price manipulation. Under EO 39, regular milled rice is mandated to be sold at PhP41 per kilogram, while well-milled rice should be sold at PhP45 per kilogram.