Fifty-eight qualified Farmers’ Cooperatives and Associations (FCAs) received Php 269.4 million worth of machinery from the Department of Agriculture- Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (DA-PHilMech) under the program Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Mechanization. The machinery distribution ceremony was held in Ubay, Bohol on March 3, 2022.

A total of 156 units of machines were turned over to the qualified FCAs. Among these were four wheel tractor, hand tractor, PTO driven disc plow/ harrow, precision seeder, walk behind transplanter, riding type transplanter, rice reaper, combine harvester and impeller rice mill.

During the event, Dr. Baldwin G. Jallorina of PHilMech said that the machinery granted are high quality and branded.

“Bilang tagapagpatupad ng mechanization program ng Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund o RCEF, kami sa PHilMech ay ginagarantihan na ang inyong makinaryang matatanggap at inyong tatanggapin sa susunod na taon ay dekalidad at branded,” Jallorina said.

He also asked the farmers to take care of the machinery received from the government to lessen the expenses.

“Hinihiling namin sa inyo na dapat pagmalasakitan natin , gamitin nang maayos ang tatanggaping ayuda galing sa gobyerno upang sa ganon ay mababawasan ang gastusin at tataas ang ating ani at kita,” Jallorina added.

Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office (DA RFO) – 7 Regional Executive Director Joel A. Elumba, highlighted that Rice Tariffication Law uses the taxes imposed on the importer to purchase the machinery given to the qualified farmers. Without the tariffication law maybe the farmers cannot receive these grants.

Twenty-nine municipalities will benefit from the procured budget of 2021 funds and the excess of 2019 and 2020 funds. Municipalities include Balilihan, Calape Catigbian, Bien Unido, Buenavista, Dagohoy, Danao, Trinidad, Ubay, Alicia, Batuan, Bilar, Candijay, Carmen, Duero, Garcia Hernandez, Jagna, Mabini, Sierra Bullones and Valencia.

The provincial agriculturist and other government officials were also present during the ceremony.

Article by April Kate A. Alingasa