3K Siquijor residents get cash, rice aid under CARD program

By Zaldy De Layola

February 18, 2024, 4:33 pm

<p>House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez<em> (File photo) </em></p>

House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez (File photo) 

MANILA – Around 3,000 residents of Siquijor province on Sunday received assistance under the Cash and Rice Distribution (CARD) Program, a project under the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

CARD is a joint initiative of Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) led by Secretary Rex Gatchalian in response to the challenge of the Chief Executive for lawmakers to provide food and financial aid for the needy.

“It (rice) is a staple in every Filipino’s diet. No Filipino meal is complete without rice. That is why we at the House of Representatives have gone to great lengths to ensure that this staple remains within the reach of the common Filipino,” Romualdez, the leader of the 300-plus-strong House of Representatives, said in a speech at the launching of the CARD Program at the provincial capitol.

The program aims to provide a PHP2,000 aid to every beneficiary all over the country -- PHP1,000 as cash aid and PHP1,000 for a 25-kilogram sack of rice.

“Binuo natin ang programang CARD upang manatiling abot-kamay ang bigas sa ating mga kababayan, partikular dito ang mga matatanda, mga may-kapansanan at iba pang mga sektor na disadvantaged. Ngayong araw, hindi lang kayo tatanggap ng bigas, tatanggap din kayo ng tulong-pinansyal na maaaring gamiting puhunan para sa inyong kabuhayan (We created this CARD program to keep rice affordable for our countrymen, particularly to our elderlies, persons with disabilities (PWDs) and other disadvantaged sectors. Today, you will not only receive rice, but also financial help, which can be used as capital, for your livelihood),” Romualdez said.

He said that the Lower House has done everything to make rice affordable for Filipinos, from conducting hearings designed to get to the bottom of issues of hoarding, to visits at warehouses and public markets to ensure that the price is within reach even by the poor.

“The cash assistance and rice distribution (CARD) program, which we are launching here today, is another step in this direction,” the Speaker said.

Meanwhile, Romualdez thanked the DSWD for spearheading the implementation of the project under its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS) Program. 

The DSWD identifies all the beneficiaries including senior citizens, PWDs, solo parents and indigenous peoples (IPs).

“Maraming salamat po sa Department of Social Welfare and Development sa inyong pakikiisa at agarang pagtalima sa adhikain ng ating mahal na Pangulong Bongbong Marcos na ang lahat ng Pilipino’y may sapat na pagkain (Thank you very much to the DSWD for your full cooperation and immediate adherence to the aspiration of our beloved President Bongbong Marcos [Jr.] to provide every Filipino with sufficient food),” Romualdez said.

The CARD program was launched last year to benefit qualified Filipino families identified by the legislative districts.

It was initiated in Metro Manila, covering all its legislative districts with 10,000 beneficiaries each for a total of 330,000 residents, and in Biñan City and Santa Rosa in Laguna. (PNA)