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More Western Visayas rice retailers avail of gov’t subsidy

ILOILO CITY (PIA) -- Another batch of small rice retailers from Western Visayas received cash assistance under the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Sustainable Livelihood Program - Economic Relief Subsidy (SLP-ERS) on Sept. 21, 2023.

This is the second batch of cash assistance worth P15,000 being given to small rice retailers who are affected by the imposition of Executive Order No. 39 which mandates the price cap on rice throughout the country.

ANGELS IN RED VEST. The DSWD 6 SLP Team facilitates the verification, profiling, and releasing of the cash assistance for small rice retailers from Dumangas and Barotac Nuevo towns in Iloilo province during a payout schedule on September 21 at the Liga ng mga Barangay Hall of LGU Dumangas. Photo: PIA Region VI

In the region, a total of 928 additional rice retailers received government aid amounting to a total of over P13.9 million through the established payout centers across different provinces.

In Iloilo province, the concerned agencies were able to distribute the cash assistance to a total of 269 small rice retailers.

Of the said number, 12 from Dumangas and two rice retailers from Barotac Nuevo towns availed of the program. The distribution was held at the Liga ng mga Barangay Hall of LGU Dumangas, Iloilo.

Beneficiary Jose Rene Anayan, who has been in the rice retailing business for 36 years, expressed gratitude to the government for the assistance received, lamenting the great loss they have experienced in decreasing the price of rice following the EO 39 mandate compared to the price of the supply they had bought.

Similarly, fellow rice retailer Mariquita Tan, who has also been in rice retailing for over 30 years, conveyed her gratitude for the support they needed to recover from their loss.

“Salamat gid sa assistance nga ginhatag sa amon. Ini nga kwarta akon liwat nga gamiton para sa akon negosyo (agud) nga magbakal liwan ka bugas (Thank you very much for the assistance that you have given us. I will use the money to buy rice again),” she said.

Jose Rene Anayan, a rice retailer from Dumangas town for 36 years now, expresses gratitude to the government for the assistance provided to small rice retailers who are affected by the imposition of Executive Order No. 39 mandating rice price cap throughout the country. Photo: PIA Region VI

Meanwhile, retailer Rene Beatizula Jr., who has just been in business for four months now, signified that he is one of the retailers who have adhered to EO 39 since its implementation earlier this month.

“Sang September 5, adlaw gid sang pag-declare, ginsunod gid dayon namon. Nagpierde gid man kay ti syempre, pagbakal sang paray mahal pa mo tapos ginpagaling. Ti, thank gid sa DSWD, sa DTI, kay Mayor (Braeden John Biron) kag salamat man sa mga nagburolig para matigayon ini (Last September 5, the first day of the implementation, we immediately followed. We experienced loss because of buying palay at a high price then added the cost of milling it into rice. So, thank you to DSWD, DTI, to Mayor (Braeden John Biron), and thank you also to those who have helped in this program),” Beatizula shared.

To note, LGU Dumangas Municipal Administrator lawyer Lady Hope Gallenero, representing the mayor, together with the DSWD SLP Team, DTI 6 Consumer Protection Division Grace Benedicto, DTI Iloilo Senior Trade and Industry Development Specialist Romil Maro, and Dumangas MLGOO Marlyn S. Gayadao, graced the said payout.

A DSWD SLP Team staff hands over the P15,000 worth of cash assistance to Merlie Tilla-in Figueroa, a 76-year-old rice retailer from Hamtic town, who is part of the 171 beneficiaries for the second tranche of financial assistance for rice retailers affected by the EO 39 putting price cap for regular and well-milled rice in the province of Antique. Photo: PIA Antique

In the province of Antique, DSWD Sustainable Livelihood Program team leader Noli Valenzuela noted that the distribution is simultaneous in three clusters, benefiting a total of 171 small rice retailers.

These include the southern cluster covering the towns of Anini-y, Tobias Fornier, Hamtic, San Jose, San Remigio, Sibalom, and Belison with 69 recipients; the central cluster covering the towns of Barbaza, Laua-an, Bugasong, Patnongon, Valderrama has 56 recipients; and the northern cluster including the towns of Libertad, Caluya, Pandan, Sebaste, Culasi, and Tibiao with 46 beneficiaries.

Edgar Pecaoco, a rice retailer from San Remegio town, expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the government agencies that facilitated this program for granting them cash assistance to recover from their losses. He promised to use the aid to buy more stocks and continue to comply with the rice price cap to help consumers as well.

Likewise, Merlie Tilla-in Figueroa, a 76-year-old rice retailer from Hamtic town, expressed gratitude for the cash assistance she received with a pledge to use it to cover the expenses she incurred after complying with the rice price cap.

In other provinces, Aklan distributed the subsidy to 97 beneficiaries, 172 in Capiz, 204 in Negros Occidental, 17 in Guimaras, and four small rice retailers in Iloilo City.

Some 97 small rice retailers in Aklan receive cash assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) during the distribution on September 21, 2023, held at the Provincial Trade Hall, Capitol Grounds. Photo: PIA Aklan
DSWD Sustainable Livelihood Program - Economic Relief Subsidy (SLP-ERS) payout distribution in Roxas City, Capiz on Sept. 21 with a total of 185 beneficiaries. Photo: PIA Capiz

“We are glad that we are able to help more small rice retailers this time. We believe that, in a way, we are helping them cope up with the current situation,” said DSWD 6 Regional Director lawyer Carmelo N. Nochete.

Earlier, it can be noted that the first batch of assistance disbursed amounted to a total of P2,535,000, which was released to 169 beneficiaries on September 13 and 14, 2023.

Also, 82 small rice retailers from Iloilo province received P1,230,000 on September 19, 2023, as part of the first batch.

In a separate press release, DSWD 6 noted that, to date, a total of 1,179 small rice retailers from the region have received cash assistance amounting to a total of P17,685,000.

On the other hand, the 39 target recipients who were not able to receive the aid will be given another schedule for payout, DSWD 6 reported.

For inquiries regarding the program, the public may reach the DSWD 6 at (033) 330-7860 or email at (AAL/FRG/PIA 6/with reports from PIA Aklan, Antique, Capiz, and Negros Occidental)

Photo: DSWD 6

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Franz Remar Garion

Region 6

Indicium gladio fortior est

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