DSWD: Aid for small-time retailers available until Sept 14 | Inquirer News

DSWD: Aid for small-time retailers available until Sept 14

By: - Reporter / @JMangaluzINQ
/ 12:47 PM September 12, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is providing livelihood assistance to small-time rice trailers affected by rice price caps until September 14, its chief said Tuesday.

DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian said rice retailers may receive a P15,000 grant to cushion the blow of the mandated ceiling for rice prices.


“Total na nabigyan natin ng livelihood grant ay 474 na rice retailers na nagkakahalaga ng P7.5 million. Medyo maliit pa iyong catchment natin pero sa araw na ‘to hanggang sa 14th, lalaki at bibilis ‘to dahil simultaneous na ang payout natin sa iba’t ibang rehiyon at iba’t ibang mga highly urbanized cities,” said Gatchalian in a Palace briefing.

(We gave livelihood grants to 474 rice retailers, amounting to P7.5 million. Our catchment is still small, but it will grow and accelerate from today until the 14th because our payout is already simultaneous in different regions and highly urbanized cities.)

The distribution of financial assistance was part of the DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program that started in San Juan, Caloocan, Parañaque, Navotas, Quezon City, and Zamboanga del Sur.

Gatchalian said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. would like the aid distribution finished by September 14 in consideration of the election ban for the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Election on October 30.

But the DSWD chief also revealed that they are trying to obtain an exemption from the ban from the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

“Importante sa amin na mabigay lahat kaagad ‘to dahil mag-e-election ban rin. At bagama’t nag-apply kami ng exemption sa Comelec at nananalig kami na mabibigyan kami ng exemption pero we cannot preempt the good Comelec from saying na mabibigyan kami,” he said.


(It is important for us to provide everything immediately because there will also be an election ban. Although we applied for an exemption to the Comelec and believe we will be granted an exemption, we cannot preempt the good Comelec from saying that we will be granted.)

Last month, Marcos issued Executive Order No. 39, putting a ceiling of P41-P45 on the prices of rice in a bid to control its unstable costs. The directive took effect on September 5.

READ: Rice retailers say compliance with price cap OK for at least a week pending gov’t aid

Business groups have since urged the government to limit the implementation of the rice price caps to two to three weeks, warning that prolonging such regulation could bankrupt small stores unable to cope with mounting losses.

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TAGS: aid, DSWD, rice

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