As the country expands its measures to ensure food security for all Filipinos, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has introduced the Rice Tarification Law or Republic Act No. 11203 which gave way for the creation of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF).
“[Ito ay] naglalayong palakasin ang industriya ng pagpapalay sa pamamagitan ng pagtanggal ng quantitative restrictions at magkaroon ng liberalisasyon ng pagdala ng pag-aangkat ng bigas dito sa Pilipinas,” DA Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa said during the March 5 OneDA sa TV program.
“Dahil dito ay nagkaroon din tayo ng Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) na nagbibigay ng alokasyon na P10 billion sa mga magsasaka ng palay dito sa ating bansa,” he said.
The allotted P10 billion fund will be divided into four: P5 billion will be for mechanization or the upgrade of the machinery of farmers, P3 billion for the seeds to be used by the farmers, and P1 billion that will serve as a loan fund, and P1 billion for farmers’ training.
Aside from RCEF, the department also has the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA).
The RFFA is direct cash distributed to farmers as compensation for the income loss of rice farmers due to the drop in palay prices in affected provinces.
It aims to provide cash grants to smallholder rice farmers affected by the episodes of the significant decrease in palay prices, facilitate the access of rice farmers to timely funds for procurement of needed inputs, and enhance farmers’ opportunity to improve productivity and profitability. (By Pearl Gumapos, PTV News)