25 September 2023

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s cash assistance worth P15,000 to sari-sari stores affected by rice price caps served both as a compassionate act and a means for micro-enterprises to bounce back from possible losses, according to Zamboanga del Sur Rep. Divina Grace Yu.

Rep. Yu also considered Marcos’ directive as a “reward” for sari-sari stores for complying with the government’s price ceiling on rice.

“What the President ordered is not only an act of compassion, but appropriate,” the lawmaker said in a statement on Monday, September 25.

“It is refund mechanism so that sari-sari store owners can recover their temporary losses for complying with the rice price cap order. The assistance from DSWD rewards that compliance,” she added.

Malacañang bared on Sunday, September 24, that President Marcos directed the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to provide the cash assistance to sari-sari stores amid the implementation of the price ceiling.

DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian said the distribution of cash assistance to sari-sari store owners will span from September 25 to 29.

The agency’s spokesman, Assistant Secretary Romel Lopez, bared that more than 6,000 sari-sari store owners have already received the cash assistance.

Rep. Yu lauded President Marcos for recognizing that “a sari-sari store may be a micro enterprise in size but it serves the community in a big way“

“Marami sa kanila ay kasing hirap ng kanilang mga mamimili. Pero tumupad pa rin sa programang makakatulong sa pamahalaan. Siguro ang iniisip ng Presidente, ‘kung ang malalaking negosyante nga may tax refunds, loss write-offs, pass-on costs, bakit ang maliliit wala?’,” the lawmaker said.

“The President saw how this policy would impact a certain group of people, so he wasted no time in ordering DSWD to help those affected,” she added.