DBM releases over P455M for RCEP implementation from January to March

DBM releases over P455M for RCEP implementation from January to March
Photo from Presidential Communications Office

THE Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released P455.58 million for the implementation of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Program (RCEP) during the first quarter of 2024, DBM Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said.

In a statement, Pangandaman said P23.79 million was released to the Department of Agriculture (DA), P133.65 million to the Land Bank of the Philippines, P120 million to the Development Bank of the Philippines, and P178.14 million to the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice).

Of the P23.79 million released to the DA, P10.972 million was allocated to the DA-Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI) and P12.823 million to the DA-Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech).

The creation of RCEP under Republic Act 11203 aims to enhance the productivity and competitiveness of local rice farmers and to ensure an increase in their income by providing them with necessary machineries and other tools, help them in the development, propagation and promotion of rice seeds, expand rice credit assistance and other rice extension services.

Under the law, the government is mandated to allocate P10 billion each year for the first six years of the implementation of RCEP, which will be charged to the Special Account of the general fund of the National Treasury.

Fifty percent of the funds will be allocated for the in-kind grant to qualified farmers association and licensed rice cooperatives and local government units; 30 percent for the development, propagation and promotion of inbred rice seeds; and 10 percent each for the credit assistance and other rice extension services.

“In our quest for food security for all under President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.'s vision of Bagong Pilipinas, we will continue to support programs that boost the local production of major agricultural commodities, including rice, which is a staple food in almost every Filipino household,” Pangandaman said.

Meanwhile, Pangandaman said over P10 billion was allocated for the fuel and fertilizer assistance to farmers under the 2024 General Appropriations Act (GAA) in support of the administration’s bid to strengthen the country’s agriculture sector for food security.

She said P9.561 billion was allocated for the distribution of fertilizer discount vouchers under the Project Support Services of the National Rice Program of the DA, while P510.4 million for fuel assistance.

Pangandaman said out of the P10 billion, P6.161 billion will be used to cover expenses for the DA Hybrid Seed Program, while P3.4 billion for the inbred seed program.

“Bukod po sa pagpapalakas ng produksyon at suplay ng pagkain sa bansa, tiniyak po ng ating mahal na Pangulo na mabigyan ng nararapat na tulong ang ating local famers (In addition to strengthening the production and supply of food in the country, our dear President has ensured that our local famers will be given the appropriate help). That's why this government will always look for the best solutions to provide assistance to them,” she said. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)


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