CASH GRANT. The Department of Agriculture-Central Luzon, in partnership with the provincial government of Pampanga, extends cash assistance to farmers in the province. A total of 25,339 farmers will receive PHP5,000 each under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund-Rice Farmers Financial Assistance program. (Photo courtesy of DA-Region 3)

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – The Department of Agriculture-Central Luzon (DA-3) is continuously providing cash assistance to farmers in this province under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund- Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RCEF-RFFA).

DA Regional Executive Director Crispulo Bautista Jr. said on Tuesday some PHP130.49 million cash assistance will be extended to some 25,339 farmers.

He said initially, around 1,300 farmers received their cash assistance worth PHP5,000 each last July 22.

“The second batch of distribution is now ongoing and the third batch will be on July 28,” Bautista said in an interview.

Under the special provisions of the RCEF, the RFFA program will provide rice farmers, registered under the Registry Systems for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) and tilling two hectares and below of land, unconditional cash assistance of PHP5,000.

The program sources its funds from the rice tariffs collected annually in excess of the PHP10 billion allocated for the RCEF.

Florencio Obado, one of the farmer-beneficiaries from Floridablanca town, thanked the government for the assistance.

“Maraming salamat po dahil malaking tulong itong ibinigay ng gobyerno sa amin. Ipangbibili ko po ito ng abono at insecticide (Thank you very much because this assistance given by the government to us is a big help. I will use it to purchase fertilizer and insecticide),” Obado said in a social media post.

Farmer Anthony Silverio, also from Floridablanca, said the government’s assistance is timely.

“Tulad ngayon mahal ang abono. Malaking tulong na sa amin ito. Gagamitin namin ‘to upang makabili ng fertilizer lalo na at nakapag tanim na kami ngayon (Right now, the fertilizer is pricey. This is a big help for us. We will use this cash grant to buy fertilizer especially now that we already planted palay),” Silverio said. (PNA)