Starting mid-December last year, rice farmers from Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Masbate and Catanduanes started getting their P5,000 cash assistance dubbed as Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA). Rice farmers from Albay and Sorsogon will also receive their share from the P12 billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) within January 2024.
Using the previously issued Intervention Monitoring Cards (IMC), rice farmers can withdraw the RFFA from any Bancnet ATM kiosk or at USSC branches nationwide, once they have been informed by their Municipal Agriculturists. Once the cash assistance has been credited to their cash cards, the DA regional office will notify the Municipal Agriculturists by sending the names of the RFFA recipients.
DA Bicol Regional Executive Director Rodel P. Tornilla said that a total of P638,658,350 worth of unconditional cash assistance is earmarked for the qualified 126,467 rice farmers of Bicol tilling two hectares or less and are registered in the RSBSA.
Meanwhile, Adelina A. Losa, Chief of the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) said that newly registered rice farmers will also be issued with IMC or cash cards so that they can also withdraw within the first quarter.
RCEF-RFFA came from the excess tariffs from the RCEF institutionalized through RA 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law. The law seeks to improve rice farmers’ income and lower the cost of rice production by 30% through the provision of machineries, seeds, credit and extension. (Lovella P. Guarin – RAFIS 5)