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Claim: The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will provide P15,000 cash assistance to Filipinos nationwide.
Why we fact-checked this: The claim was made in the title of a YouTube video posted on September 12, which has gained 14,121 views, 725 likes, and 109 comments as of writing.
The video’s title reads: “GOOD NEWS NAG-UMPISA NA! PBBM AT DSWD TULOY ANG PAMIMIGAY NG TAG P15K SA BUONG PILIPINAS”
(Good news, it has begun! PBBM and DSWD are continuing the distribution of P15K cash assistance across the Philippines.)
The bottom line: The cash grant would only be given to small rice retailers who are facing difficulties because of the recent imposition of price caps on regular and well-milled rice nationwide.
Cash grant program: The misleading video featured the press briefing with DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian on September 12, where he explained that the department is distributing cash grants to affected rice retailers under the DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).
Gatchalian said the SLP’s current P5.5-billion budget can be used immediately to support small retailers who may incur losses due to the rice price cap, especially those with limited inventory. The DSWD has already distributed P7.5 million in cash grants to 474 small and micro rice retailers in the cities of San Juan, Caloocan, Navotas, Parañaque, and Quezon City and in the province of Zamboanga del Sur.
The government has also set aside around P1 billion to assist qualified cash aid beneficiaries identified by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Price caps: The upload of the misleading video comes several weeks after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the concurrent agriculture secretary, set price ceilings on rice due to what Malacañang described as the “alarming increase” in the retail price of the food staple, which has exceeded P60 per kilogram for certain types.
Executive Order No. 39, issued on August 31, set price ceilings at P41 per kilo for regular milled rice, and P45 per kilo for well-milled rice. (READ: [Vantage Point] Price control: The magic wand that does not work)
The price ceiling, which took effect on September 5, will remain until lifted by the President, whose campaign promises include bringing the price of rice down to P20.
As the controversial measure drew criticism from rice retailers and economists, the DTI said government officials are set to meet next week to review the order, adding that there is a “serious consideration” for lifting price caps.
Rappler has previously debunked claims on offers for financial aid from DSWD:
- FACT CHECK: Online DSWD page linking to aid form for education is fake
- FACT CHECK: Circulating list of 4Ps beneficiaries is fake – DSWD
- FACT CHECK: DSWD does not provide cash assistance for completing SIM card registration
- FALSE: P10,000 monthly allowance for 4Ps beneficiaries, solo parents
– Andrei Santos/Rappler.com
Andrei Santos is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.
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