BICOL – The Department of Social Welfare and Development and Department of Trade and Industry of Bicol Region continued the distribution of cash assistance to micro rice retailers in the 6 provinces of Bicol region last September 28 to 29.
The third round of cash aid distribution by the DSWD Sustainable Livelihood Program – Cash Assistance for Micro Rice Retailers included DTI-identified sari-sari stores retailing rice in their areas.
The program served 157 micro rice retailers and sari-sari stores in Albay, 173 in Masbate, 50 in Sorsogon, 73 in Catanduanes, 82 in Camarines Norte and 501 in Camarines Sur. Each micro rice retailer and sari-sari store received Php 15,000.00 as cash aid.
DSWD released Php 15,540,000.00 to 1036 DTI-identified micro rice retailers and sari-sari stores for this third round of payout, making for a total of Php 23,925,000.00 cash aid distributed to 1595 micro rice retailers and sari-sari stores since the start of the program.
Jastine Valencia, a sari-sari store owner also retailing rice in Polangui, Albay, expressed in an interview with DSWD her gratitude for the government’s assistance to rice retailers. “Nung malaman ko po na magkakaroon ng subsidiya ang pamahalaan kasama ang DSWD at DTI, masayang masaya ako kasi ginawa naman nilang patas, napababa nila ang presyo ng bigas at hindi mahihirapan masyado ang mga tao.” Jastine was surprised by the price controls enforced by the Executive Order No. 39 but found relief in the cash assistance provided by the government through DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program.
The Sustainable Livelihood Program – Cash Assistance for Micro Rice Retailers aims to cushion the blow that micro rice retailers sustained with the effectivity of Executive Order No. 39 (EO39).
EO39, which was made effective September 5, introduced price controls for regular milled rice and well-milled rice, the former having a price ceiling of Php 41 per kilo and the latter Php 45 per kilo.