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Over P5.91M cash aid distributed to CagVal micro-rice retailers

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan (PIA) -- At least 394 micro-retailers in the Cagayan Valley Region affected by the price cap on well-milled and regular-milled rice each received P15,000 in cash assistance from the government on September 14, as part of the Sustainable Livelihood Program-Economic Relief Subsidy (SLP-ERS).

Kyle John Nanud, a micro-rice retailer from Uyugan, Batanes, receives a P15,000 cash aid from the government under the sustainable livelihood program-economic relief subsidy (SLP-ERS) at the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office in Basco on September 14. (Photo courtesy of DSWD)

The distribution was led by members of the "Bantay Bigas Task Force," composed of members of the regional offices of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the National Food Authority (NFA).

According to DSWD Regional Director Lucia Alan, a total of P5,910,000 has been distributed as an economic relief subsidy as of September 14, and the distribution of cash assistance to eligible micro-rice retailers will continue this week in various payout sites in the provinces of Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quirino.

Of the 394 initial beneficiaries, 184 are from Isabela, 77 are from Nueva Vizcaya, 74 from Quirino, 57 from Cagayan, and 2 from Batanes.

Luzviminda Aggalut, one of the recipients, said she was elated by the government's move to aid them amid the implementation of EO 39, which puts a standard price ceiling on rice.

"Nagpapasalamat kami sa tulong na binigay ng gobyerno sa aming mga rice retailers. Napapanahon ito upang mapunan yung lugi namin bunsod ng pagdeklara ng price ceiling sa bigas (We are grateful for the assistance given by the government to our rice retailers. This is timely to make up for our losses caused by the declaration of a price ceiling on rice)", Aggalut told the Philippine Information Agency after the distribution of the subsidy held at the multi-purpose gymnasium of DSWD-2.

For Cleofe Joy Ranot of Maddela, Quirino, the cash aid is very beneficial for them to cope with losses.

"Kaming mga rice-retailers ay nagagalak sa suporta at tulong ninyo para sa amin. Sa bumubuo ng programang ito, sa DSWD, DTI, at iba pang sangay ng gobyerno, taos puso ang aming pasasalamat (We rice-retailers are happy with your support and help for us. To the DSWD, DTI, and other government agencies, we express our sincere gratitude)," said Ranot.

In Solano, Nueva Vizcaya, Michelle Blasi said that in the midst of the sudden implementation of the price ceiling on rice, the cash assistance is a timely help.

"It is interesting that in the midst of the sudden implementation of the price ceiling on rice there is this timely help. We were immediately helped to recover the investment we used in our business," she said.

Beneficiaries of the Sustainable Livelihood Program-Economic Relief Subsidy (SLP-ERS) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) show the media the P15,000 they received during the payout at the Multi-Purpose Gymnasium on Sept. 14, 2023. (DSWD photo)

Information caravan

As part of the implementation of Executive Order 39, the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 2 held an information caravan on Executive Order 39 on September 14 at the DA Southern Cagayan Research Center, Minanga Norte, Iguig, Cagayan.

DA OIC Regional Executive Director Rose Mary G. Aquino said that the implementation of EO 39, which imposes a price ceiling on regular milled rice and well-milled rice, primarily aims to protect consumers.

"Our teams, with representatives from the DTI, DILG, NFA, and PNP, are visiting retailers across the region. The task force will conduct daily price monitoring in markets and supermarkets. Their report will be submitted immediately to President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., who is also acting as the Agriculture Secretary," she added.

During the caravan, Dr. Roberto C. Busania of DA clarified that premium and special rices such as sinandomeng, dinorado, Thai jasmine, japonica, glutinous, Indian, and Pakistani basmati are not included in EO 39.

The second leg of the information caravan was held at the DA Cagayan Valley Research Center, City of Ilagan, Isabela, on September 15, attended by rice retailers, wholesalers, traders, and local government officials from the City of Ilagan, Tumauini, Cauayan City, Santiago City, Echague, and Alicia, Isabela.

Affected micro-retailers in the region may visit DTI Regional Office No. 2 or any DTI provincial offices. They can also call DTI at (078) 396-9865. (MDCT/PIA Cagayan)

About the Author

Mark Djeron Tumabao

Regional Editor and Social Media Manager

Region 2

An ordinary writer from Cagayan Province. 

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