SOME 2,000 Kapampangan farmers registered under the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) received P5,000 in cash assistance through the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund–Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RCEF-RFFA 2) of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Agriculture Secretary William Dar together with Vice Governor Lilia Pineda and other officials from the DA and local government unit led the distribution of the various assistance on Tuesday, May 24, 2022, at the Kingsborough International Convention Center.
Dar commended the efforts and contributions of the DA-Central Luzon spearheaded by Regional Executive Director Crispulo Batista Jr.
"Alam niyo ang Region 3 (Central Luzon) ay outstanding among regions, talagang ang lakas ng Region 3 ay ang mga partnerships sa mga local government units at saka magsasaka," Dar said.
Republic Act No. 11598, also known as Cash Assistance for Filipino Farmers Act, ensures the funding of the RCEF-RFFA through the use of the excess rice tariff collected every year.
In partnership with the Development Bank of the Philippines as one of its partner government financial institutions and Universal Storefront Services Corporation as the Financial Technology Partner, a total of 2,000 RSBSA-registered rice farmers received and benefitted from the RFFA.
Also present during the event were Undersecretary for Operations Engineer Ariel Cayanan, Assistant Secretary for Strategic Communications Noel Reyes, Assistant Secretary for Operations Engineer Arnel De Mesa, SVP Ricardo Josef Bandal II, PhilMech Director Dionisio “Boyet” Alvindia, and BFAR Director Wilfredo Cruz.
"Ang excess tariff na P8.9 billion ay ipapamahagi sa 1.7 million rice farmers. Ang lahat po ng magsasaka na kasali po rito sa RFFA ay makakatanggap po kayo ng interventions monitoring card na magsisilbi bilang identification card o ID at cash card," De Mesa said.
Complying with the guidelines for the RCEF-RFFA, farmer-beneficiaries were prioritized and classified based on the receipt of cash assistance from DA, registration in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture, and farming a rice area of two hectares and below.
"Tapos na ang kampanya sa eleksyon pero tayo sa sektor ng agrikultura ay tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang kampanya laban sa kahirapan at kagutuman kasi may pagbabadya, ang tawag natin dito global food crisis, hindi lamang dito sa Pilipinas kundi sa buong mundo," Dar emphasized.
Almost 25,000 Kapampangan farmers are expected to receive direct unconditional cash assistance amounting to P5,000 until June 2022.
RFFA aims to provide monetary assistance as compensation for the projected reduction or loss of farm income arising from the tariffication of the quantitative import restrictions on rice.
May 26, 2022
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