The Department of Agriculture (DA), through its Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund-Rice Farmer Financial Assistance (RCEF–RFFA) program, has started the distribution of cash assistance to rice farmers in Zamboanga Sibugay province.
DA-Zamboanga Peninsula (DA-9) Executive Director Rad Donn Cedeño, in a statement Thursday, said the first batch of recipients includes 1,329 eligible farmers in the town of Diplahan.
Cedeño said the release of the cash assistance to the identified recipients in Diplahan, through its fintech partner institution — Western Union — started Wednesday until Thursday.
Each of the 1,329 farmer-beneficiaries received PHP5,000 plus PHP70 for their identification card, sourced from the total program fund of PHP6.7 million.
Cedeño said the cash assistance is under the DA’s program that caters to rice farmers listed in the Registry System for Basic Sector in Agriculture (RSBSA), through the Farmer and Fisherfolk Registration System (FFRS), who tills a land total or cumulative area of up to two hectares.
The RCEF-RFFA program is aimed at assisting rice farmers who are affected by the implementation of the Rice Tarrification Law.
The government launched the program to provide compensation for the projected income loss of rice farmers due to the decline in the prices of palay or rice grain.
In a separate statement, Evelyn Academia, the regional rice program focal person, said 11,351 other rice farmers in Zamboanga Sibugay province will also receive their PHP5,000 cash subsidy from the DA soon.
Academia said they have set a schedule for the release of the cash assistance to farmer-beneficiaries from other towns in the province.
The province of Zamboanga Sibugay comprises 16 municipalities with the town of Ipil as the province’s capital. (PNA)