The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will provide cash aid to local grain retailers who may be affected by the admin’s plan to put a price cap on rice.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier issued Executive Order 39, setting prices at P41 per kilo for regular milled rice and P45 for well-milled rice starting Sept. 5.
This action was prompted by government intelligence indicating that certain unscrupulous traders planned to hike rice prices to as high as P70.00 per kilo.
DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian, quoted by reports, stated that the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Agriculture will meet with rice retailers associations for a list of traders affected by the price cap.
He said the financial aid will be capped at P15,000 per retailer.
“Hopefully by next week we will issue livelihood grants,” he said in a TeleRadyo Serbisyo interview, adding that the financial aid is coursed through the DSWD Sustainable Livelihood Program.
Based on the DA’s monitoring as of Friday, prices of imported commercial rice ranged from P43 to P65 per kilo, while local rice retailed at P42 to P65 per kilo in Metro Manila.
In Congress, House Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez said he had instructed Ako Biko party-list Rep. Elizaldy Co, chairman of the House committee on appropriations, to coordinate with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for the swift allocation of P2 billion to support the rice retailers, who said they bought the grain from traders at a price higher than the price ceilings.
“Our goal is to ensure that we can extend assistance to rice retailers who may be affected by this rice price ceiling, as it is a directive from our President aimed at protecting consumers,” Romualdez said.