Farmers in four provinces to get cash assistance

(Photo Courtesy of Loida Cordova via Da-rafid Rfo VI Facebook)

By Lilibeth A. French

Qualified farmers from the four provinces of Western Visayas will receive cash assistance from the Department of Agriculture (DA) amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

DA-6 Regional Agriculture and Fishery Information Section Head James Earl Ogatis said a one-time financial assistance of P5,000 will be distributed to qualified farmers in the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz and Negros Occidental under the Financial Subsidy for Rice Farmers (FSRF), an existing Social Amelioration Program of the department.

Ogatis said there are two primary bases in determining the beneficiaries of the FSRF:

-farmers are listed in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBA); and

-they till a one-hectare or below farm lot.

“We have started submitting the names of our farmers to our Central Office based on our updated RSBA during the last quarter of 2019,” Ogatis said in an interview with PIA Kapihan Regionwide radio program.

Qualified farmers and fishers can get their cash assistance through payment centers and financial institutions like Landbank of the Philippines not later than May 2020, according to Ogatis.

He urged farmers and fishers to enlist in the RSBA for easier availment of government services and assistance.

Beneficiaries will be given unique transaction code which they can use to claim the cash assistance from payment centers.

In the province of Iloilo, Ogatis said around 46,516 farmers are target beneficiaries under the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA) program launched by DA last year.

RFFA aims to help farmer beneficiaries cope with the impact of the sudden drop in the price of palay.

1,829 farmers have already received their P5,000 cash aid on March 23, 24, and 25 this year.

The second batch of the 21,924 farmers started on April 3 and distribution is ongoing. The rest of the beneficiaries are expected to be paid in May 2020.

Meanwhile, in the April 27 edition of #LagingHanda Network Briefing with Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar, DA 6 Regional Director Remelyn Recoter announced that Western Visayas will be getting about 12 percent of the P85 billion fund from the DA under the Bayanihan Act.

Recoter said this will help increase the rice sufficiency of Western Visayas to more than 125-percent. (PIA)