THE Department of Agriculture (DA) 7 has released P238.5 million in financial cash assistance to 47,682 rice farmers of Bohol and Negros Oriental.
The financial assistance provided by the DA under the Financial Subsidy for Rice Farmers (FSRF) was released through the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) to the farmers at P5,000 each.
DA 7 Regional Director Salvador Diputado said Central Visayas has a total of 62,536 FSRF beneficiaries.
The qualified rice farmers are registered under the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA).
They till a below one hectare rice area and are not covered by the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA) program.
Diputado said of the 47,682 rice farmers who claimed their cash assistance, 39,913 were from Bohol while 7,769 were from Negros Oriental.
Of the total beneficiaries, some 1,197 farmers claimed their financial assistance through the LBP issued cash cards, while the rest were claimed over the counter.
Vast land Diputado bared that per guidelines only Bohol and Negros Oriental in Central Visayas were included in the FSRF as these are the areas that have vast lands dedicated to rice farming.
FSRF is a DA initiated program that assist small rice farmers who were affected by the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL) and are not covered by the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund-RFFA.
“We fast-track the distribution so that these rice farmers who are affected by the RTL and now with this Covid-19 pandemic can cope with the struggles,” he said.
The DA stressed that the assistance is a one-time financial subsidy only. Farmers Rolando Casiro and Davina Inutan of Duero and Bilar, Bohol, respectively, expressed their gratitude to the government for the cash assistance they received.
The amount, they said, will greatly help them in their rice farming activities.
They said they will use the cash to buy seeds, fertilizers and to pay the salaries of their hired workers. / JOB