Aklan rice farmers get P158.2-M cash subsidy under RCEF

Posted by: RAFIS DA6 | Posted at: February 17, 2023

Aimed at intensifying support to the agriculture sector and as a direct response to the input price inflation, the Department of Agriculture (DA) apportioned P158,205,000.00 worth of Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA) to smallholder farmers of Aklan this year. Out of the total allocation, over P77.6 million cash were distributed on February 3 at ABL Sports Complex in Kalibo.
Rice farmers, with not more than two-hectare landholding, from Altavas received P11.92-million, Balete with P10.76-million, Batan-P6.56 million, Libacao – P15.61 million, Madalag – P10.92 million, Malinao-P11.88 million, and New Washington – P10.1 million during the recent payout event graced by Senator Imee Marcos.
Sen. Marcos said the government is bound to level up the support to rice farmers facing climate change and surging prices of farm inputs.
“Nag bago na ang klima. Pati ang palay natin, hindi na maintindihan, nabubulok, nangingitim. Kailangan na magdiversify tayo ng iba’t ibang tanim. Magtulong-tulong tayo para sa Kadiwa business marketing. Kami ang magbebenta ng palay nyo. Magtulungan tayo para hindi tayo binabarat,” she said.
Apart from Sen. Marcos, Aklan 1st District Representative Carlito Marquez, 2nd District Representative Teodorico Haresco Jr., DA’s Assistant Secretary for Consumer Affairs Kristine Evangelista, Assistant Secretary for Operations Arnel De Mesa, USWAG Ilonggo Partylist Representative Jojo Ang, Aklan Governor Jose Enrique Miraflores, and DA Western Visayas Regional Technical Director Zarlina Cuello also witnessed the cash aid mass distribution.
Governor Miraflores commended the national government’s support to boost the rice sector in Aklan, which currently has an 85.79 percent rice self-sufficiency level. With Aklan’s thrust “Pagkaing Sapat para sa Lahat, Aklan Aangat,” the local chief executive aspires for more significant agricultural interventions for the province through the support of Sen. Marcos.
The RFFA interventions came from the excess of P10-billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) tariff revenues which totaled P8,098,302,090.00. With the highest RFFA allocation nationwide, Western Visayas obtained a P1.4 billion in the 2022 budget to serve over 280,000 rice growers regionwide.

“Gapasalamat gid ako kay nakabaton ako sang P5,000.00 sa DA. Ang akon nakuha pagagamiton ko sa pagbakal sang abono kag bayad sa naga-ubra sa talamnan,” said Lavelmas David, a farmer recipient from Altavas, Aklan.

Sen. Bong Go also graced the RFFA distribution on January 21, benefiting 2,880 rice farmers from Ibajay and Tangalan, Aklan. The farmer-recipients also received other interventions from Sen. Go, including food packs, mobile phones, and apparel. ###By Sheila Mae H. Toreno/DA-RAFIS 6; Photos by: Jerem V. DeGuzman/DA-RAFIS 6

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