House, DSWD launch P670-M rice, cash aid program | Inquirer News

House, DSWD launch P670-M rice, cash aid program

/ 05:30 AM November 06, 2023

DSWD workers in Valenzuela City process applications for rice and cash aid

ASSISTANCE PACKAGE | Personnel of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Valenzuela City process applications for rice and cash aid submitted by beneficiaries during the launching of that program on Sunday led by the DSWD and the House of Representatives. (Photo from the Facebook page of Secretary Rex Gatchalian)

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Sunday launched a program to distribute P670 million worth of financial and rice assistance to an initial 335,000 poor Filipino families in Metro Manila and Laguna.

Speaker Martin Romualdez said the program, called the Cash and Rice Distribution (CARD) plan, was started simultaneously in Metro Manila’s 17 localities as well as in Biñan and Sta. Rosa City in Laguna province, with the aim of implementing it nationwide to benefit some 2.5 million Filipinos at an estimated cost of P5 billion.


Romualdez said that each of Metro Manila’s 33 legislative districts would have 10,000 beneficiaries, while Biñan City and Sta. Rosa City would have a total of 5,000 recipients who would each get cash and rice in batches in four days.


The amount of assistance for each beneficiary would total at least P2,000, of which P950 would be for a 25-kilo sack of rice (computed at P38 a kilo) and the balance in cash for the purchase of other food items.

Funding for the program would come from the budget set aside for the DSWD’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations.

The beneficiaries would be identified by the DSWD and would include, apart from indigent Filipinos, persons with disability, senior citizens, solo parents, and indigenous peoples.

According to Romualdez, the department could increase the amount of financial aid in some areas, depending on its evaluation of the prevailing circumstances.

Nationwide coverage

The Speaker also said the program, which he described as the response of the House of Representatives to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s challenge to give affordable rice to the poor, would soon include the rest of the country’s 250 congressional districts.

“It is our aim to expand the program, not only in Luzon but nationwide. But we would have to prioritize cities in the Visayas and Mindanao where there is insufficient supply of affordable high-quality rice,” Romualdez said.


He pointed out that the program was conceived in light of the high cost of rice and other goods, to enable Filipino consumers to gain access to the staple food at better prices to augment their purchasing power.

Romualdez said the program would also serve as a countermeasure to rice hoarding and price manipulation by unscrupulous traders.

The launch of CARD coincided with the introduction of the President’s Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair (BPSF) in Laguna following its successful introduction in Biliran, Davao de Oro, Leyte, Camarines Sur and Ilocos Norte.

Public services

BPSF, a program that brings directly to the people more than a hundred government services, would similarly be implemented nationwide.

It was given an initial funding of at least P1 billion and is expected to benefit, at first, more than 400,000 Filipinos seeking to avail themselves of more than 60 services offered by various government agencies.

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The beneficiaries would be given easy access to government projects and programs in the areas of social services, health and medical support, livelihood and educational assistance, and services in regulatory functions.

TAGS: Cash and Rice Distribution, Department of Social Welfare and Development, House-DSWD aid program

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