Agriculture Secretary William Dar said more rice farmers would receive cash assistance this year as the country collected over P8 billion in excess tariffs from rice imports last year.
Dar was recently in the province of Bohol where he awarded P267.7 million worth of cash assistance under the RFFA to 52,819 farmer-beneficiaries in the province. Dar said the distributed cash assistance came from the excess tariffs collected in 2020.
The Rice Farmer Financial Assistance is a direct cash transfer to qualified rice farmers, primarily as compensation for their projected income loss due to the drop of palay (unhusked rice) price. Under the program, rice farmers tilling two hectares or less will receive P5,000 in unconditional cash assistance. The program sources its fund from the rice tariffs collected annually in excess of the P10 billion allocated for the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF).
The occasion coincided with listing Boholano farmers in the updated Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA), after which they will be provided their respective Interventions Monitoring Card (IMC) which will serve both as identification and cash swipe card for debit purchases.
The card also allows all RSBSA-listed farmers easy access to government interventions, starting with the second round of the P5,000 Rice Farmers’ Financial Assistance (RFFA). The RSBSA-IMC also includes crops farmer, fishers, hog raisers, and other agri-fishery workers and stakeholders, in short, all who are in the task of agricultural food production.
In a parallel development, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go together with the Department of Agriculture, distributed assistance to 5,720 farmers in Carmen, Bohol last week.
“I know that times are hard [because] we were in the middle of a crisis brought about by Covid-19,” Go said in a video message in Filipino. “We need to help one another, and be concerned for the welfare of our fellow Filipinos.”
The senator also provided computer tablets as well as pairs of shoes and bicycles to chosen individuals as public transportation remains limited in some areas due to the pandemic.
Go advised residents with health concerns to visit the Don Emilio del Valle Memorial Hospital in Ubay or the Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital in Tagbilaran City where Malasakit Centers are available to provide them convenient access to medical assistance programs offered by the government.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar earlier said more rice farmers would receive cash assistance this year as the country collected over P8 billion in excess tariffs from rice imports last year.