The Department of Agriculture (DA) provided cash assistance to 5,286 rice farmers through its Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF)-Rice Farmers Financial Assistance program (RFFA).
The Rice Tariffication Law established the RCEF or Rice Fund to improve rice farmers’ competitiveness and income during the liberalization of the Philippine rice trade policy, which removed quantitative restrictions on rice imports and replaced them with tariffs, among other things.
According to Edwin Joseph Franco, regional rice Coordinator of DA-Cordillera, rice farmers in this city were identified as RCEF-RFFA beneficiaries because they were all listed in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA).
Franco stated that rice farmers with two hectares of land or a minimum land area of 2,500 square meters are eligible for assistance, but only one per household.
The assistance is intended to assist rice farmers who have been impacted by falling palay prices as a result of the implementation of RA 11203. (RTL).
The fund was created by collecting an extra P83 billion in rice tariffs.
Franco reminded the beneficiaries to spend the money on agricultural inputs rather than vices.
John Paticawen of Barangay Bulanao Norte, who has been farming for 60 years, thanked the DA for the financial assistance, which he will use to purchase fertilizers for his rice farm.
OFCAS encourages all farmers to register under the RSBSA in order to benefit from the national government’s DA programs and services.