The Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) signed an agreement with the Department of Agriculture (DA) to distribute P2.7 billion cash subsidies to 900,000 marginal farmers via an e-voucher system, DBP President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel G. Herbosa announced yesterday.
Through the e-voucher system, the beneficiaries of the DA’s Cash and Food Subsidy to Marginal Farmers and Fishers (CFSMFF) program can claim their cash assistance of P3,000 each at any DBP-accredited payout center.
“All they have to do is present their government-issued ID and the unique reference code sent via text message by the implementing agencies,” according to Herbosa.
Under the CFSMFF, eligible marginal farmers and fisherfolk enrolled in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture are entitled to a subsidy of P5,000 each – P3,000 in cash and P2,000 worth of food items
A total of 890,794 farmers and fisherfolk will benefit from the program.
Out of these number, 346,534 are coconut farmers, 287,128 fisherfolk, 198,023 are corn farmers, 29,702 are sugarcane farmers, while the remaining 29,407 are members of the indigenous communities.
So far, DBP has worked closely with DA on financial inclusion initiatives during the past year, such as cash aid disbursements under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund and enrolment with DBP of over 5,000 farmer-members.
They likewise partnered in implementing the Farmer Financial Assistance Program to release more than P1.4-billion in cash aid to nearly 300,000 farmers.
“I’m confident the CFSMFF program would provide market support to local producers of rice, chicken, and eggs and open up sources of livelihood for farmers, farmer cooperatives and associations, and micro enterprises,” Herbosa remarked.
This latest partnership with the DA provides government intervention to marginal members of the agricultural sector who have borne the brunt of the economic slowdown, added DBP Executive Vice President for Branch Banking Susan Z. Prado.
“DBP is emboldened by these programs and we hope that the beneficiaries would use the assistance to recover and rebuild their lives despite the current pandemic,” she concluded.