ONLY 17 small-scale rice retailers in Cebu are eligible to receive P15,000 in cash from the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023.
“Only those informed by the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) among the retailers will be accommodated during the payout. The DTI provincial directors will provide details about the beneficiaries during tomorrow’s (Thursday) initial payout,” Emma Patalinghug, chief of the Protective Services Division of DWSD 7, said on Wednesday, Sept. 13.
(President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. had tasked the DTI to identify qualified beneficiaries of the government’s cash grants.)
The financial assistance is for those whose incomes have been affected since Executive Order (EO) 39, which sets a price cap of P41 per kilo for regular-milled rice and P45 per kilo for well-milled rice, was implemented last Sept. 5.
The payout venues are the Carbon Public Market in Cebu City, Consolacion Public Market in the north, and the mayor’s office in Minglanilla in the south.
Based on the data sent by DSWD 7 to SunStar Cebu on Wednesday, a total of P1,305,000 will be disbursed during the first payout of economic relief subsidies in Central Visayas on Thursday.
Of the amount, P255,000 will be distributed to the beneficiaries in Cebu.
A total of P90,000 has been allocated for the six beneficiaries in Bohol; 945,000 for the 63 beneficiaries in Negros Oriental; and P15,000 for the lone beneficiary in Siquijor.
The payout venues in the rest of the region are the Tagbilaran City Hall in Bohol; Convention Center in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental; and Tigbawana, Lazi in Siquijor.
Maria Rosana Coritico, DSWD 7’s program coordinator, said the agency’s SLP has taken on the responsibility of disbursing funds since the program offers assistance to affected segments of the community.
“Through the SLP, we are extending a helping hand to the impoverished, vulnerable, and marginalized sectors. Specifically, we aim to support micro rice retailers who operate on limited capital and have been adversely affected by the mandated price ceiling,” she said.
She said qualified rice retailers were profiled by DTI 7 based on several criteria that included that they must be small-scale retailers whose income has been affected after complying with the price cap order.
She said the move is a crucial step to alleviate the losses suffered by these retailers due to EO 39.
Meanwhile, Coritico said grievance desks will be set up at the payout venues to deal with non-qualified rice retailers who will show up on Thursday.
Cortico said DSWD personnel will man the grievance desks along with representatives from DTI.
“During the payout, DTI representatives will be present to address any questions or inquiries related to the economic relief subsidy,” she said.
While the DTI continues to monitor rice prices in wet markets and groceries throughout the country, the agency will also continue to profile small-scale rice retailers for possible beneficiaries of the cash grant. (KJF)