A total amount of PHP5.27 million was released by the Department of Agriculture (DA) to eligible rice farmers in Moises Padilla in central Negros Occidental as cash assistance from the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF).
The beneficiaries were 1,054 farmers, who received PHP5,000 each during the distribution rites led by Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson at the municipal covered court on Monday.
“I came here to also thank the Department of Agriculture for giving proper attention to Negros Occidental. One of our programs under ‘Abanse Negrense’ is agriculture,” Lacson said.
Mayor Ella Celestina Yulo said the cash assistance is a “blessing” for the rice farmers that can be used as additional capital for their farms.
“We should be more diligent in appreciating the assistance provided by the government because it’s free. It’s up to you to use it well,” she said in her message during the turnover activity.
The cash aid received by the rice farmers in Moises Padilla is part of the PHP226-million fund allocated to a total of 45,213 rice farmers in Negros Occidental.
Last week, 1,041 farmers in neighboring Binalbagan town also received similar financial assistance amounting to PHP5.2 million.
Through the RCEF’s Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA), the DA provides financial assistance to farmers as compensation for the projected reduction of farm income arising from the tariffication on rice during the implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law.
The RFFA fund, sourced from the excess tariff collected from rice imported in 2019 and 2020, will benefit about 1.6 million farmers nationwide.
The beneficiaries are farmers tilling farmlands measuring two hectares or less and are registered in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture. (PNA)