DA: Over 126,000 corn farmers, fisherfolk receive gov’t fuel subsidy

Published August 9, 2022, 5:32 PM

by Jel Santos

More than 126,000 corn farmers and fisherfolk have been allocated with the government’s Fuel Discount for Farmers and Fisherfolk Program (FDFFP), the Department of Agriculture (DA) said on Tuesday, Aug. 9.

The program rolled out in March this year and is now nearing the realization of its goal of supporting 158,730 beneficiaries.

(Photo courtesy of the Department of Agriculture)

As of Aug. 4, a total of 126,388 fuel discount accounts have been generated, while the remaining 32,342 accounts, or 20.37 percent of the total target will be created before the month ends. Once loaded with a P3000 subsidy, corn farmers or fishers may use it for the purchase of diesel or gasoline.

“This is just part of the Department of Agriculture’s package of assistance to the agriculture sector, which continue to face challenges caused by high cost of farm inputs,” Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary for Consumer and Political Affairs and Spokesperson Kristine Evangelista said, adding that the program aims to cushion the impact of the current global economic challenges to the agriculture sector and enable the food production sector to be more productive.

The FDFFP emanated from the 2022 GAA Special Provision No. 20, which allocated a P500-million fund to provide fuel discounts to farmers and fisherfolk under the condition that the beneficiaries must exclusively use the subsidy to fuel their farm machinery and motorized bancas, respectively.

They can use the vouchers in participating gas stations accredited by the Department of Energy.

On Aug. 3, an amended Memorandum Circular was released naming the director of the Bureau of Agriculture and Fishery Engineering as chair of the Program Coordination Group for the implementation of the program, which will be expanded to other agricultural commodities. Officials are set to discuss the guidelines to ensure the smooth implementation and distribution of interventions.

Meanwhile, the MC is also in preparation for the proposed P600-million additional FDFFP fund requested from the Department of Budget and Management.