DSWD: Giving cash more practical than bags of rice

Sheila Crisostomo - The Philippine Star
DSWD: Giving cash more practical than bags of rice
Photos show workers unloading sacks of rice from a truck along Dagupan St. in Manila on February 7, 2024.
STAR / Ernie Penaredondo

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development stands by its position that it is “more practical and efficient” to give the P600/month rice subsidy to beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in cash rather than actual bags of rice.

This was affirmed yesterday by Social Welfare Assistant Secretary for strategic communications Romel Lopez, in reaction to the proposal of the Department of Agriculture (DA) for the agency to distribute bags of rice to 4Ps beneficiaries.

The DA, at a recent press briefing in Malacañang, had suggested to President Marcos to convert the P600 monthly rice subsidy into actual rice to be supplied by the National Food Authority as this “will ease the price pressures of the market in terms of buying high-priced rice.”

According to Lopez, they already met with DA and “we made it clear to them that this is not feasible because of the logistical requirements” which may not be convenient for the beneficiaries.

He also noted there is “no legal cover” for the DSWD to heed the DA proposal.

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