CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga - The Department of Agriculture (DA) continues to distribute cash assistance to eligible rice farmers under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund - Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RCEF-RFFA).
DA Regional Executive Director Crispulo Bautista said on Tuesday that some 2,504 rice farmers from the towns of San Narciso and San Marcelino in Zambales, have started claiming financial assistance this month as compensation for their income loss due to a drop in the selling price of palay and increasing cost of fertilizer and other farm inputs.
Under the special provisions of the RCEF, the RFFA program provides rice farmers who are registered under the Registry Systems for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA), and tilling two hectares and below of land, unconditional cash assistance of PHP5,000.
The program sources its funds from the rice tariffs collected annually in excess of the PHP10 billion allocated for RCEF.
In Zambales alone, a total of 16,046 rice farmers are about to receive RCEF-RFFA cash aid for the years 2022-2023.
On the other hand, a total of 202,712 rice farmers in the entire Central Luzon will receive the same assistance.
Charlie Febelina, one of the farmer-beneficiaries in San Narciso, thanked the government for the help extended to them.
"Maraming-maraming salamat po sa ibinibigay na tulong at natatanggap naming biyaya sa DA. Magagamit ko po ito pandagdag pambili ng abono sa aking tanim na palay (Thank you so much for the assistance and the blessing that we received from the DA. I can use it to purchase fertilizer for my newly planted palay)," Febelina said in a statement.
Farmer Abegail Falsario, also from San Narciso, said she will use the PHP5,000 cash assistance to buy insecticides.
"Okay na okay ang program. Maganda at nakakatulong talaga (The program is okay. It is good and it can help indeed)," Falsario said. (PNA)