DSWD’s SLP cash aid helps 26K rice retailers, store owners

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian on Monday reported that the cash aid for micro-retailers and sari-sari store owners under the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) ended on a high note last week.

“A total of 26,266 micro-retailers and sari-sari store owners benefitted from the SLP receiving a total of P393.9 million in cash aid which started on September 9,” Secretary Gatchalian said.

The DSWD’s provision of cash aid under the SLP was in line with the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to assist small-scale business owners who were directly affected by the issuance of Executive Order No. 39, which imposed price ceilings on well-milled and regular-milled rice.

“Under the DSWD’s SLP cash aid program, sari-sari store owners and micro-rice retailers received cash subsidy of P15,000 each to help buttress their losses due to the price cap,” Assistant Secretary for Strategic Communications Romel Lopez said.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) validated, certified, and authorized 35,302 micro-rice retailers and sari-sari store owners as the target beneficiaries, according to Lopez, also the spokesperson of the DSWD.

“Of the qualified beneficiaries, some 8,873 micro-retailers and sari-sari store owners did not show up to claim the livelihood grants while 163 intended beneficiaries were disqualified due to issues on supporting documents,” the DSWD spokesperson added.

The DSWD expressed optimism that the small-scale business owners can now slowly return to their normal situation with the lifting of EO 39 and with rice prices already stabilizing.

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