A total of 59,125 rice farmers in Nueva Ecija will each receive P5,000 direct cash assistance through the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund-Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RCEF-RFFA) Program launched in Cabanatuan City recently.
The cash aid comes from the P7.6 billion excess tariff collection from rice imports in 2019 and 2020. Through the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL), P10 billion is also allotted annually for the RCEF.
“The program is one of the many positive results of the RTL.”
“The program is one of the many positive results of the RTL,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said, adding that the RTL benefits outweigh the challenges.
According to Dar, rice farmers now enjoy higher yield and lower production cost, while consumers benefit from adequate and affordable rice because of the RCEF and the National Integrated Rice Program.
Another contribution of the RTL is the record rice harvest of 19.4 million metric tons (MMT) in 2020, setting up another record this year with more than 20MMT rice harvest.
“Mas marami ang nakinabang at mas marami ang naging positive developments or outcomes na idinulot ng RTL dito sa ating bansa.”
“Mas marami ang nakinabang at mas marami ang naging positive developments or outcomes na idinulot ng RTL dito sa ating bansa,” the agriculture chief said as he thanked the farmers for their hard work and trust in the government.
Qualified RFFA program beneficiaries are rice farmers tilling two hectares and below and are enrolled in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA).
This year, 177,309 rice farmers in Central Luzon Region will receive a total cash assistance amounting to P886.5 million through the RFFA.
In partnership with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), the DA-Central Luzon Regional Field Office will start distributing the multi-purpose Interventions Monitoring Card (IMC) to the RFFA beneficiaries.
On the high fertilizer prices, the agriculture head said that the Department of Agriculture (DA) is promoting a balanced fertilization strategy and has realigned the Rice Program budget for the procurement of compost shredder machines for distribution nationwide as a continuing intervention.
He added that DA submitted a request for funding to the Office of the President for the provision of fertilizer subsidy during the dry season planting.
Dar also committed that DA continues to find more ways to serve the sector.
“Aahon din ang sektor ng agrikultura. Ang ating mga magsasaka ang tunay na bayani. Kayo po ang nagpapakain sa ating bansa at ituloy-tuloy po natin para ang sektor ng agrikultura ay aangat na rin para sa ganun ay meron tayong masagang ani at mataas na kita,” he concluded.