SAN AGUSTIN, PILI, CAMARINES SUR – The Department of Agriculture Regional Office No.5. V and the Development Bank of the Philippines through their respective representatives signed a supplemental agreement in connection with the implementation of the Fertilizer Discount Vouchers Support to Rice Farmers under the National Rice Program. The DA RFO- V was represented by Regional Executive Director Rodel P. Tornilla while the DBP was represented by SAVP Roderick F. Barbado, head, Branch Banking Group –Bicol.

The MOA stipulates that the DA shall provide the funds necessary to support the project implementation to be entrusted/deposited to the DBP through a project fund account to be opened by the former. Payments for merchandise or fertilizers as supported by vouchers in accordance with the prescribed rules and regulations shall be made by the DBP.

It would be recalled that on January 08, 2021 Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar issued a Memorandum to the RFOs for the implementation of fertilizer distribution activity under Crop Year 2021 to 2022 to allow blended fertilizer distribution scheme in partnership with government financial institutions. The DA and DBP national offices entered into and signed as MOA on June 24, 2021 and June 29, 2021 for the implementation of programs and projects of DA offices and agencies with DBP.

The DA-RFO-V has been allocated with Php 348,854,000 for this Fertilizer Discount Vouchers Project for Rice Farmers for Wet and Dry Season Cropping 2021 to 2022. Priority provinces are Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte and Catanduanes. However, farmers in CLUSTER areas (provinces included in the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Program or RCEF which are Albay, Masbate & Sorsogon) are also eligible. Farmers who are registered under the Registry System for BASIC Sectors (RSBSA) in areas with low fertilizer adoption rate and those rice farmers who received the high quality seeds in the targeted rice areas shall be given preference to allow them to adopt the full high yielding technology practices.

Qualified farmers will be provided with fertilizer voucher coupons (with QR code) they can use to claim the fertilizer. This discount voucher shall have the value equivalent to PhP2,000 per hectare for inbred and PhP3,000.00/ha for hybrid palay seeds planted. Discount vouchers are for one-time use and may be claimed at any accredited fertilizer merchant in the farmer’s preferred area.

DA-accredited fertilizer dealers/distributors/merchant shall claim the cost of subsidy through the DBP. All vouchers shall be processed/issued by the DA-RFO (to farmers through LGUS) based on the list of seed beneficiaries submitted by LGUs.The MOA signing held at the DA Regional Office on August 27, 2021 was witnessed by Luz R. Marcelino, DA-RFO V Regional Technical Director for Operations and Jennifer C. Naval, head, DBP Naga Branch. Also present were: Lorenzo Alvina, Regional Rice and Corn Program Coordinator; Evangeline Poloyapoy, Regional Accountant and some staff of the DA and DBP. (EMILY B. BORDADO-DA-RAFIS-5/ photo credit: Antonio Hermito Privaldos)