The Department of Agriculture (DA) is set to implement the “Fuel Discount for Farmers and Fisherfolk Program,” as provided under the Special Provision No. 20 of the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for Fiscal Year 2022 or Republic Act (RA) 11639.
“We sincerely thank President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the honorable members of the Senate and House of Representatives for approving and appropriating P500 million for the fuel subsidy program that will benefit millions of Filipino farmers, fishers, and consumers nationwide,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in a statement.
“The fuel discount will definitely help reduce the production and transport costs of major farm and fishery products, and subsequently temper their respective market prices, thus benefiting producers and consumers alike,” the DA chief added.
The 2022 GAA Special Provision No. 20 on Fuel Discount to Farmers and Fisherfolk, states that:
“The amount of P500 million appropriated herein shall be used to provide fuel discount to farmers and fisherfolk when the average Dubai crude oil price based on Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS) for three months reaches or exceeds Eighty Dollars (USD 80) per barrel: Provided, that the farmer or fisherfolk beneficiary owns and operates an agricultural and fishery machinery individually or through a farmer organization, cooperative or association: Provided, further, that in the case of fisherfolk, their fishing vessels are registered in the Integrated Boat Registry System or DA-BFAR’s BOATR: Provided, finally, that for the farm machinery owned and/or operated by individual farmers or farmers’ organization, proof of ownership shall be provided.
“The DA Regional Field Units and BFAR Regional Offices shall issue fuel vouchers to qualified beneficiaries to claim the fuel discount, and likewise authorized to deduct one and half percent (1.5%) of said amount for administrative and other operational expenses.
“The DA shall furnish the Oversight Committee on Agriculture a copy of the implementing guidelines and submit quarterly reports on the implementation of the program.”
For his part, DA Undersecretary for Operations Ariel Cayanan said that the targeted beneficiaries for the provision of fuel discount must be registered under the DA’s Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) and BFAR’s fisherfolk registry system.
Last week, he chaired a meeting of officials from the DA Regional Operations Group, national rice and corn program directorates, and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources to flesh out the implementing guidelines of the fuel discount program that include the prioritization criteria, amount of discount voucher to be provided to qualified beneficiaries, and creation of a technical working group that will oversee the crafting and finalization of the guidelines and program implementation. The TWG will issue regular updates on the matter.