P5K cash aid up for 1.56M small rice farmers: DA chief

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Some 1.56 million Filipino rice farmers will receive P5,000 grant each before Christmas from excess rice tariffs, Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar announced on October 12.

Funds for distribution will be sourced from P7.7 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.

Under the Rice Tariffication Law, of the total tariff collected annually, P5 billion is automatically appropriated for the provision of farm machinery and equipment, P3 billion for certified inbred seeds, P1 billion for credit, and P1 billion for training and extension or a total of P10 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.PNA

 




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