BANGUED, Abra – Some 14,684 rice farmers in Abra province are set to receive P5,000 each in financial assistance under the Department of Agriculture’s FY 2022 Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund-Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RCEF-RFFA) Program.
Marlyn Tejero, OIC-Chief for Field Operations Division, said the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) downloaded the requested P203 millions on August 5 in compliance with the Memorandum of DA Undersecretary for Operations and Chief-of-Staff Dr. Leocadio Sebastian to fast-track the distribution of the RFFA among rice farmers in the earthquake hit areas.
Tejero explained that the 14,684 identified rice farmers are the first batch for Abra while the second batch is being finalized.
Moreover, the P203M is part of the balance of the region’s RCEF-RFFA FY 2022 total allocation amounting to P451,459,300.
The RFFA is a direct cash transfer to qualified rice farmers, primarily as compensation for their projected income loss due to the drop in palay (unhusked rice) price.
Qualified beneficiaries are rice farmers tilling two hectares and below and are registered in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture or RSBSA.
Cameron Odsey, DA-CAR Regional Executive Director, said the request was made with the DA-Central Office noting that the farmer-beneficiaries would need it, particularly to augment their recovery measures after the magnitude-7 earthquake incident last July 27.
The DA-CAR Rice Program is currently facilitating the transfer of said amount to the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) as partner government financial institution for the RCEF-RFFA implementation.
The DBP also works with the USSC as its Financial Technology Partner.
Tejero added that the remaining allocation from the downloaded fund will be used for the payout of other provinces with top-up qualified rice farmers.
Meanwhile, the Rice Program reported that 63,567 rice farmers have received their cash grants under the FY 2021 RCEF-RFFA amounting to P322,284,690 in total.