The government has awarded a one-time P5,000 cash assistance to each of some 500 farmers in Mangatarem, Pangasinan under the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance Program (RFFAP).
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the unconditional cash transfer, which was sourced from rice import tariffs, is available to farmers who are tilling 0.5 – 2 hectares of farmland.
The cash aid shall come in the form of cash cards released by the Land Bank of the Philippines.
“A total of 87,000 rice farmers in Pangasinan will receive Land Bank cash cards.”
Dar said a total of 87,000 rice farmers in Pangasinan will receive Land Bank cash cards, equivalent to P435 million.
“Ito po ay tulong pinansyal, hindi pautang kaya di babayaran (We provide financial assistance, not a form of loan, so there is no need to pay back),” the agriculture chief said.
According to the agriculture head, the department will be setting aside P3 billion for the first 33 rice-producing provinces and qualified farmers selected based on a comparative price analysis that considered the average marketable surplus and profit gains or losses in those provinces.
“The department will be setting aside P3 billion for the first 33 rice-producing provinces.”
RFFAP is one of the interventions to cushion rice farmers during the transition phase of the Rice Tariffication Law.
The law provides for financial assistance for rice farmers to be sourced from the tariff collection of the P10-billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF).
Dar noted that the RCEF aims to make Filipino rice farmers competitive by providing them with mechanized equipment, certified rice seeds, credit, and training.
Dar also expressed optimism that the cost of production of local rice will be reduced by P6 from its P12 per kilo level through the RCEF, thus enabling local farmers to compete with Vietnam that currently produces at P6 per kilo.Share this article: