VIRAC, CATANDUANES – DA Bicol Regional Executive Director Rodel P. Tornilla led the ceremonial distribution of the Fertilizer Discount Voucher under the National Rice Program. The distribution was held at the Catanduanes State University on December 6, 2021.

The fertilizer discount voucher will be given to RSBSA-listed rice farmers cultivating 2-hectares and below and have availed of rice seeds from DA Rice Program in the previous months.

RED Tornilla added that for every hectare of certified seeds planted, a farmer will receive P2,000 –worth Fertilizer Discount Voucher. For every hectare of hybrid seeds planted, a farmer will be given P3,000 worth of voucher. He added that DA provides timely fertilizer support to rice farmers to ensure higher productivity.

An initial 100 rice farmers from the municipalities of Caramoran, Gigmoto, Panganiban, San Andres, Viga and Virac received the vouchers. For Catanduanes, a total of 951 rice farmers who availed of hybrid or certified seeds from DA Rice Program will receive fertilizer discount voucher amounting to P2,993,043.00 to fertilize 1,048 hectares of rice areas.

Nelia Teves, Provincial Agriculturist of Catanduanes said that the fertilizer subsidy was very timely as dry season planting has just started in the province.

Congressman Hector Sanchez, in his message read by Camille Andrea R. Gianan, said that  being top 4 in the overall performance nationwide, ay isang katunayan ng magandang kalidad ng serbisyo ng DA. He added that the fertilizer discount voucher is an early Christmas gift to the farmers devastated by typhoons

Earl Vincent Vegas, newly designated Rice Program Coordinator of DA Bicol said that farmers can claim the fertilizer at the DA and FPA accredited merchants stationed in the different municipalities. Farmers just need to present valid IDs and they can select the kind of fertilizer they prefer.

Vegas added that fertilizer discount voucher distribution will also commence in the five other provinces of Bicol and the Rice Program targets to distribute a total of P348,854,000 worth of fertilizer vouchers to 118,000 rice farmers in Bicol before the end of December 2021. (Lovella P. Guarin – RAFIS 5 / photo credit: Eduardo Collantes, Jr, and Vincent Emil Pasumbal)