44,000 rice farmers get gov’t help | Inquirer Business

44,000 rice farmers get gov’t help

/ 06:45 AM January 01, 2024

MANILA  -About 44,000 farmers tilling 2 hectares of land or less have so far benefited from the national government’s P12-billion financial assistance for rice farmers, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said over the weekend.

According to the agency, the Cordillera Administrative Region, Caraga and Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) had the highest grant withdrawals before the end of 2023 under the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA) program.

RFFA, which is expected to benefit 2.38 million farmers across the country for their personal needs, is an unconditional financial assistance to farmers.


It is funded by excess tariff collection from rice importations in 2022 totaling P12 billion. Each farmer is entitled to P5,000 cash assistance.


The DA had tapped the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) to distribute the funds. DBP, in turn, engaged fintech firm USCC to use its 850 stores nationwide for cash grant distribution.

Automated teller machines (ATMs) owned by other banks and nonbank entities under BancNet were also tapped.

“As we enter the New Year, we expect more disbursement files and letters of instruction to come in from the [DA] regional offices,” said Jonathan Relucio, USCC chief of branches.

Of the 2.38 million target beneficiaries, USCC said a total of 499,381 were enlisted in 2023 alone.

The 2023 RFFA beneficiaries included farmers who already registered in the Registry System for Basic Sectors (RSBSA) in Agriculture as of June 30, 2023. INQ

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TAGS: collection, farmers, financial aid, tariff

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