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Nueva Vizcaya micro rice retailers get aid from government

Rice retailers receive financial assistance from Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) representatives during the Economic Relief Subsidy distribution conducted by the agency in Nueva Vizcaya. PHOTO BY BENJAMIN MOSES M. EBREO

BY BENJAMIN MOSES M. EBREO

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya (September 15, 2023)—At least 88 Micro Rice Retailers (MRRs) in the province received financial assistance from the national government in the wake of the implementation of the Mandatory Rice Price Ceiling (MRPC) in the country.

Marietta Salviejo, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) provincial chief, said that the 88 MRRs came from the towns of Aritao, Bagabag, Bambang, Diadi, Bayombong, Dupax del Norte, Dupax del Sur, Solano and Villaverde.

The MRRs received P15,000 cash assistance each through the Sustainable Livelihood Programs (SLP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

 “There were actually 107 MRRs listed but only 88 were assessed and evaluated by our agency to be qualified for the financial assistance,” Salviejo said.

She added that the 88 MRRs were the first batch of beneficiaries from the grains sector who immediately complied with Executive Order No. 39 of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. mandating the rice price ceiling in the country.

A micro rice retailer in Nueva Vizcaya displays the financial assistance she received from the Economic Relief Subsidy distribution program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Department of Trade and Industry in Bayombong town. PHOTO BY BENJAMIN MOSES M. EBREO

Salviejo encouraged other MRRs in the province to comply with the MRPC for possible assistance from the national government.

Margie De Guzman, 56, president of the Grains Retailers Confederation of the Philippines (GRCP) – Cagayan Valley Chapter said the government’s assistance for the MRRs is a welcome move to cushion the adverse effects of the MRPC in the grains sector.

De Guzman explained that the MRRs, big or small, have suffered from P130 to P150 loss per 25 kilos of rice just to comply with the MRPC which carries stiff penalties for violators.

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The GRCP-Cagayan Valley comprises the MRRs in the provinces of Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela, Cagayan, Mountain Province, Kalinga, Apayao and Ifugao.