BAGUIO CITY – In accordance with the instruction of President and Agriculture Secretary Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for the government to provide PhP15,000 cash assistance to each qualified small rice retailers affected by the implementation of the mandated rice price ceilings in the country, a total of 75 identified small rice retailers in the Cordillera Administrative Region have received the said subsidy.
Fifty-five rice retailers in Baguio and Benguet, four from Kalinga, fourteen from Abra, and one from Apayao were among the recipients of the sustainable livelihood program-economic relief subsidy or SLP-ERS
Department of Agriculture Cordillera (DA-CAR) Regional Executive Director Atty. Jennilyn Dawayan and Regional Technical Director for Operations Danilo Daguio who both represented the agriculture department during the Memorandum of Agreement signing explained that this subsidy is the government’s support for small rice retailers in the region that complied with Executive Order 39 despite buying the rice supply at the same price or even higher than the mandated ceiling.
President Marcos recently approved the recommendation of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Agriculture (DA), through Executive Order (EO) No. 39, to impose the mandated price ceilings on regular and well-milled rice amid the surges of rice prices in the market.
Under EO 39, the mandated price ceiling on regular milled rice is PhP41.00 per kilogram while the mandated price cap on well-milled rice is PhP45.00 per kilogram which took effect last Tuesday, Sept. 5.
“For complying and making rice available to low-income earners, the government is giving the amount as assistance and for helping provide affordable rice to our people,” Daguio said.
In the initial implementation of EO39, the Regional Bantay Bigas Task Force composed of the Department of Trade and Industry, DA, and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) noticed a low compliance in the region but was soon informed of the growing compliance of rice retailers to the said EO in the succeeding days after implementation.
“In Baguio City, we recorded a high compliance among rice retailers that have been monitored by the Task Force as compared to the initial implementation of the EO,” Daguio added.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development is the agency tasked to distribute the economic relief subsidy based on the data of small rice retailers recorded by the DTI, DA and DILG.