TABUK CITY, Kalinga — A total of 5,286 rice farmers received P5,000 each in cash assistance from the Department of Agriculture (DA) through its Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF)-Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA).
Created under the Rice Tariffication Law, RCEF or Rice Fund is meant to improve rice farmer’s 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.
Edwin Joseph Franco, regional rice Coordinator of DA-Cordillera, said that rice farmers in this city were identified as beneficiaries of the RCEF-RFFA as they were all listed in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA).
Franco said that rice farmers tilling two hectares and or those with minimum land area of 2,500 square meters are entitled for the assistance, and only one per household.
The assistance is intended to help rice farmers who are affected by plummeting prices of palay as a result of the implementation of RA 11203 (RTL).
The fund came from the excess collection on rice tariff worth P83 billion.
Franco reminded the beneficiaries to use the amount to buy agricultural inputs and not spend the amount for vices.
John Paticawen of Barangay Bulanao Norte who has been farming for 60 years, expressed his thanks to the DA for the financial help, which he will use to purchase fertilizers for his rice farm.
The Office for City Agricultural Services (OFCAS) encourages all farmers to register under the RSBSA in order to take advantage of the national government's DA programs and services.