Rice retailer: Gov’t P15-K cash aid ‘a big help’


A small rice retailer in Navotas City on Monday said the government's PHP15,000 cash assistance would help them cushion the impact of the nationwide rice price ceilings. Evangeline De Roxas, a rice vendor at the Navotas public market, admitted that the price cap imposed by the government to control the surge of rice prices has affected her income. 'Pero malaking tulong itong ayudang ito ng DSWD. Ilang sakong bigas na rin ang mabibili nito para sa dagdag puhunan (But this cash assistance from the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) is a big help. I can buy more sacks of rice to increase my capital,' De Roxas said in a media interview. She said she hopes that the prices of rice will soon return to normal. 'Sana ibaba na lang presyo ng bigas para lahat makinabang lalo na ang mga maliliit nating kababayan (I hope the rice prices be reduced so that everyone, especially our poor countrymen, will benefit),' she said. De Roxas is one of the 161 micro retailers from Navotas City who received PHP15,000 cash assistance from the DSWD on the second day of simultaneous payout. DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian said 129 small rice retailers in Parañaque City and 32 in Zamboanga del Sur also received cash aid on Monday. 'The DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) helped inform the identified beneficiaries in Pateros, Navotas, and Parañaque about the cash grants ordered by the President,' Gatchalian said. The simultaneous distribution of cash aid kicked off on Saturday with 48 recipients each from Quezon City and Caloocan City, and 136 from San Juan City receiving PHP15,000 each. Gatchalian said the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) identified the beneficiaries. In a media interview at the sidelines of an event in Mandaluyong City Monday, DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual said the PHP15,000 financial assistance for micro and small retailers aims to cover their sacrifices on profit. 'Ang sabi nga namin, 'yong mga retailers, kahit 'ang mga maliliit na retailers, ku mita na sila noong speculative yung pricing. Dapat mag-share naman sila ng kaunting sacrifice (As we said, the retailers, even the small retailers, made a profit when the pricing was speculative. They should share a little sacrifice),' Pascual told reporters. Under Executive Order No. 39 signed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Sept. 6, a price cap of PHP41 per kilo on regular milled rice while PHP45 per kilo on well-milled rice is imposed. The DSWD and the DTI met on Monday to discuss the list of beneficiaries for the rest of the NCR and those in the provinces. The distribution in Navotas City formally opened by Vice Mayor Tito Sanchez who represented Mayor John Ray Tiangco. Assisting the recipients were DILG Director Jennifer Galafort and Miriam Navarro from DSWD-NCR. Sanchez said the city government fully supports EO 39, saying the move is expected to lessen the impact of rice price surge on their poor and vulnerable constituents

Source: Philippines News Agency