The Agriculture Department said it is seeking more ways to lessen the burden on rice farmers aside from regular programs, like the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund and the Expanded Survival and Recovery Assistance Program for Rice Farmers.
The department, Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines jointly launched the P3-billion Rice Farmer Financial Assistance program.
Starting Dec. 23, 600,000 rice farmers in 33 rice-producing provinces each received cash assistance worth P5,000 under the RFFA. The program will be piloted in the provinces of Pangasinan and Nueva Ecija, which are among the top rice producing provinces in the country.
Dar said the RFFA guidelines were meticulously crafted and targeted to benefit the farmers who suffered from the impact of the Rice Tariffication Law.
Agriculture Field Operations Service director and Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Program coordinator Roy Abaya said that 36 percent of the P10 billion from RCEF was obligated for its first year of implementation beginning September 2019.