BAGUIO CITY — A total of P141.3 million worth of fertilizer discount voucher, farm machineries and equipment were simultaneously turned over by the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera to rice and corn farmers in Apayao and Abra province.
The turnover was done on Saturday, June 25, at the Municipal Gymnasium of Sta. Marcela, Apayao.
The province of Apayao received a total of P133.1 million worth of fertilizer discount voucher, farm machineries and equipment, and other forms of aid under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund-Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RCEF-RFFA) Program for the Year 2022.
The law created the RCEF or Rice Fund to improve rice farmers’ competitiveness and income amidst liberalization of the Philippine rice trade policy that lifted quantitative restrictions on rice imports and replaced it with tariffs, among others.
RCEF has a P10 billion annual appropriation for the next six years.
Sta. Marcela Mayor Evelyn Martinez, appreciated the government programs benefiting the farmers.
Lorna Ayala, recipient of the RCEF-RFFA Program from Sta. Marcela, expressed her gratitude to the department’s legislative body for crafting policies that will benefit such as financial assistance to farmers like her.
Apayao is scheduled for a caravan pay-out of the financial assistance in their respective municipalities from June 25 to July 2, 2022.
In Abra, the department turned over 14 units of pump and engine sets; four units of four-wheel drive tractor; three units of hand tractor; eight units of seed spreader and two units of rice processing center with an aggregate amount of P8.2 million.
They were all turned over to rice and corn farmer associations and cooperatives in the province during a ceremony held at the AVSECO Compound in Pidigan on June 22.
Intended to boost agricultural production, DA-CAR Supervising Agriculturist Marlyn Tejero reiterated that the farm machinery will be used by the organization and not for individual use only as provided in the Memorandum of Agreement.
Rosemarie Tesoro, head of the DA-Agricultural Program Coordinating Office, expressed hope that the beneficiaries will value such interventions as the DA-CAR is trying its best to grant requests of farmer associations despite limited budget.
President of Sunrise Producers Association Violeta Barila acknowledged the DA’s provision of a four-wheel drive tractor handed to their association. She admitted it is their first time to receive a big type of implement which took a lot of sacrifice of waiting for such a program.
Also present during the turn-over ceremonies were Office of the Provincial Agriculturist Head Dr. Expedito Villaruz, Engr. Miriam Pastor and Engr. Lera Gonzales from DA-CAR, Heads of the Office of the Municipal Agriculture, APCO staff among others.