DTI Western Visayas hits 100% turnout rate in first round of cash aid distribution to micro rice retailers

In response to the presidential directives outlined in Executive Order No. 39, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region VI, along with other implementing agencies such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Agriculture (DA), National Food Authority (NFA), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Philippine National Police (PNP), initiated the first round of cash assistance distribution on 13-14 September 2023 through DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (cash assistance for micro rice retailers), which generated 100% turnout rate.

In Iloilo City, the cash assistance distribution started in September 13 at the Iloilo City Vice Mayor’s Office and continued the following day at the DTI Iloilo Provincial Office, ensuring that all verified micro rice retailers in the city will receive a cash assistance of PHP15,000 each. Additional local government units (LGUs) within the Province of Iloilo will also have their respective payouts in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, in Negros Occidental, the distribution of cash assistance took place in the afternoon at the Food Terminal Market of Occidental Negros (FTMON) in Bacolod City.

On September 14 to 15, the remaining provinces in Region 6 successfully conducted their payouts simultaneously, achieving a 100% payout rate and marking the completion of the first round across all provinces within the region. Implementing agencies were able to resolve the challenges faced during the pay outs in all six provinces resulting in a 100% turnout rate.

With this, one of the beneficiaries expressed her gratitude, saying, “This financial assistance I received from the government is a big help. Thank God that I am qualified to become one of the beneficiaries. I am truly thankful. I will use the portion of the fund as capital for purchasing rice, and the rest will offset the losses incurred when I bought rice at higher prices before the implementation of EO 39.”

The purpose of the cash assistance from the DSWD is to alleviate the losses incurred by retailers who had previously purchased rice at higher prices before the implementation of Executive Order No. 39.

Meanwhile, the DTI is mandated to conduct profiling and verification of target beneficiaries, which was used as the basis for the payout under DSWD’s SLP.

The cash assistance distribution marks the start of a series of payouts for the first batch of beneficiaries and additional disbursements are scheduled by next week in all provinces across Region 6.

“We are actively working to ensure that all qualified rice retailers receive the support they deserve but violators of the price caps will face stern warnings to ensure that our consumers are also treated fairly,” said DTI VI OIC Regional Director Ermelinda Pollentes.

OIC-RD Pollentes is aiming for a complete 100% turnout of succeeding payouts for all target and validated beneficiaries in Region 6 within September 2023.