PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has directed the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to distribute cash assistance to sari-sari store owners affected by the implementation of Executive Order (EO) 39, which mandated price ceilings on rice that Marcos signed on August 31.
In its update to the Office of the President (OP), the DSWD said its personnel will distribute cash assistance to sari-sari store owners from September 25 to September 29. The DSWD informed the OP the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) would identify who would receive the cash aid.
Marcos has directed the DSWD to dole out cash to small rice retailers affected by the implementation of EO 39, which mandated a price ceiling of P41 per kilo for regular-milled rice and P45 per kilo of well-milled rice. (Full story here: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2023/09/02/pbbm-sets-nationwide-cap-on-rice-price/).
Based on its latest report, the DSWD said that it has already released P92.415 million worth of financial assistance to 6,161 out of the 8,390-target micro and small rice retailers affected by the implementation of EO 39 nationwide.
According to DSWD Assistant Secretary Romel Lopez, the government expects the rice distribution campaign to serve “as a stern warning to rice smugglers, hoarders and profiteers to think twice before engaging in illegal activities.” Lopez said that the commodity that they illegally imported may end up as DSWD donations to poor families.
EARLIER, Marcos said that the implementation and enforcement of the mandated price caps on rice are “going well as expected,” based on reports during a meeting by agencies that implemented his order.
Marcos reiterated that imposing the mandated price caps on rice in the long term is not a sustainable solution to the problem of increasing prices of the staple in the market.
The President earlier mentioned that the price caps are only temporary until sufficient supply from local producers and imports is available.
Days after Marcos signed his EO 39, lawmakers announced plans to provide aid to rice retailers.
Speaker Ferdinand Martin R. Romualdez was quoted in a statement issued last September 3 that lawmakers would continue to speak with leaders of rice retailers to discuss their fears that the rice-price ceiling ordered by the Palace would make them lose money.
“The government is not numb; so we want to listen to their concern, and we will try to find a solution to their fear that they will lose money,” Romualdez was quoted in the statement as saying. “We have to talk to them to come up with a win-win solution wherein they won’t be adversely affected by the price ceiling.”
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