The Department of Agriculture (DA) Western Visayas through the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) targets to distribute a total of P344.04-million financial subsidy to 68,808 farmers of Iloilo, tilling a cumulative rice area of two hectares and below.
The agency piloted the cash distribution via DBP to at least 1,200 rice farmers in Janiuay and 1,067 in Santa Barbara on December 6 and 7.
For Renato Evangelista, 54 of Brgy. Barasan, Janiuay, the cash grant will be used to buy palay seeds, fertilizers, and herbicides to proceed with his rice production in the next planting season despite encountering income reduction due to palay’s low prevailing farmgate price.
DA Western Visayas Regional Executive Director Remelyn R. Recoter said in a statement “ang mabaton nga P5,000 sang aton mga mangunguma are from the excess tariff from rice importation. Here in Region 6, there about 250,000 rice farmers who will receive the cash grant.”
Of the total target beneficiaries in the province, 13,264 rice farmers from Janiuay, Santa Barbara, New Lucena, Oton, Badiangan, Lambunao, Calinog, Bingawan, Iloilo City, Tubungan, and Igbaras will receive unconditional cash assistance through the Interventions Monitoring Card (IMC) this December. However, DA and LBP are still finalizing the schedule for RFFA distribution to the remaining towns in Iloilo.
The Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund – RFFA provides cash subsidies to rice farmers with landholdings of 0.5 to two hectares and are listed in the DA’s Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA).
As an outcome of the Rice Tariffication Law (RA 11203), RCEF provides P10 billion annual funds to bolster the rice industry through mechanization support, seeds, training, and credit assistance to eligible and registered farmers and farmers cooperatives and associations.(SMHToreno/DA-RAFIS 6)