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More than 8,000 Sibugay rice farmers benefit from DA's rice competitiveness fund

IPIL, Zamboanga Sibugay – A total of 8,365 rice farmers across the province are set to receive P5,000 cash assistance each or a total of P41.7 million under the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund -Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RCEF-RFFA) Program.

Rommel Ignacio, PIA Sibugay

Desiree Arriola, chief of the DA Agricultural Center, said farmer-beneficiaries from Sibugay have already started receiving the cash assistance which was deposited in their respective cash cards since the disbursement of the fundreleasing commenced last week and is anticipated to be completed within the week.

She said the aid is an “unconditional” financial assistance to eligible farmer-beneficiaries tilling rice areas of two hectares and below as support to their rice farming operations.  “It's an unconditional cash grant which beneficiaries can use for their daily subsistence and personal needs,” Arriola informed. 

The cash assistance, Arriola explained, has been directly credited to the fFarmers’ cash cards or  Intervention Monitoring Card (IMC) provided to the beneficiaries. The recipients can conveniently claim or withdraw the amount using their MIC from any ATM within their locality.

Photo: DA Sibugay

Edelfonso Reyes Jr, one of the beneficiaries from the town of Diplahan, thanked the DA for the assistance. “Mapasalamaton ko sa DA nga usa ako sa mga beneficiaries sa RFFA. Dako kaayo ni nga tabang namong mag uuma. Gawas sa libreng binhi ug abono gikan kay DA, naa pay cash pang palit ug medisina para sa basakan.” (I am very thankful to DA for being one of the beneficiaries of RFFA. This is a tremendous help to us farmers. Aside from receiving free seeds and fertilizers from DA, we also have cash to buy pesticides for our farms.)

Another beneficiary, Edgar Sarona from Titay town, echoed his appreciation, “Dako akong pasalamat sa programa sa gobyerno pinaagi sa DA, kay kun dili tungod niini, dili mugaan ang akong pag gasto sa mga angay galastohan para sa basakan, nakapalit kog pesticide ug herbicide.” ( I am grateful for the government's program through DA, because if not for this, my spending on necessary farm expenses would be more burdensome. Thanks to this assistance, I was able to purchase pesticides and herbicides). 

RCEF-RFFA, a program being implemented nationwide, is created  through the Republic Act 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL). RFFA offers financial support to small rice farmers  cultivating rice land measuring two hectares or less and enrolled or registered in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA). (NBE/EDT/JPA/Zamboanga Sibugay)

About the Author

Jocelyn Alvarez


Region 9

Information Center Manager of Zamboanga Sibugay Province

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