Some 1.56 million Filipino rice farmers will receive PHP5,000 grant each before Christmas from excess rice tariffs, Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar announced on Tuesday.
Funds for distribution will be sourced from PHP7.7 billion excess collections from the 2019 and 2020 rice tariffs. The grant is intended for rice farmers tilling two hectares or less.
“Our farmers need support this time of the pandemic. The President wants small farmers to receive assistance starting October. We want them to be happy,” Dar told reporters after an event in this town.
Under the Rice Tariffication Law, of the total tariff collected annually, PHP5 billion is automatically appropriated for the provision of farm machinery and equipment, PHP3 billion for certified inbred seeds, PHP1 billion for credit, and PHP1 billion for training and extension or a total of PHP10 billion.
“The excess will fund other initiatives to make small rice farmers more productive and competitive. It’s up to them on how they will spend the money,” Dar added.
To qualify, farmer-beneficiaries should be listed in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA).
The assistance is similar to the previous legislated cash aid dubbed Rice Farmers’ Financial Assistance and Financial Subsidy for Rice Farmers.
The DA will distribute the cash in partnership with the Land Bank of the Philippines.
The DA chief visited Leyte province on Tuesday to visit the hybrid rice demo farm, join the culmination of the National Rice Technology Forum, and turnover indemnity checks in Alangalang town.
In Abuyog town, the official led the African swine fever-free declaration, launch and sign the commitment for local convergence area development plan, and ceremonial turnover of several projects to local government officials and other partners. (PNA)