Distribution of grant to small rice retailers to kick off Sept. 9

By Jose Cielito Reganit

September 8, 2023, 5:26 pm

<p><em>(Photo courtesy of DTI)</em></p>

(Photo courtesy of DTI)

MANILA - The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will start the distribution of the PHP15,000 cash aid to small and micro rice retailers under the agency’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) on Sept. 9, DSWD chief Rex Gatchalian said Friday.

“Ang DSWD ay handang-handa na para mag-payout. Nandyan ang pondo at naitabi na namin (The DSWD is fully-prepared for the payout. We have already set aside the necessary funds),” Gatchalian said in a radio interview.

He said the DSWD and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will kick-off the SLP cash payout in public markets in Quezon City, Caloocan, Manila and San Juan.

Gatchalian and DTI Secretary Fred Pascual will supervise the SLP payouts at Commonwealth Market in Quezon City, and Maypajo Market in Caloocan City on Saturday.

Earlier Friday, Gatchalian along with his DSWD-SLP team met with DTI officials at the Central Office in Quezon City to finalize the initial list of rice retailers who were affected by Executive Order No. 39.

Under EO No. 39 which took effect Sept. 5, regular milled rice was given a price cap of PHP41 per kilo, while the well-milled rice was given a ceiling of PHP 45 per kilo.

“Once we have the verified list of eligible small rice retailers, then we can have the SLP payout the whole day of Saturday. The payout will be on the ground, meaning the DSWD paymasters will go to the marketplace where the rice retailers are,” Gatchalian said.

During the meeting, DSWD and DTI agreed that rice retailers in wet markets, public markets and other areas accessible to the general public (excluding supermarkets and convenience stores) shall be entitled to the SLP cash assistance amounting to PHP15,000.

Even sari-sari stores outside of wet markets and public markets are now eligible for a PHP5,000 SLP subsidy, Gatchalian said.

“Unlicensed rice retailers and sari-sari store owners selling rice are also included in the SLP payout which is in line with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s directive that the list of beneficiaries should be inclusive,” he said. (PNA)