Agriculture Secretary William Dar kickstarted the launching and distribution of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund – Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RCEF-RFFA) and Fuel Discount Program for Corn Farmers and Fisherfolk in CALABARZON on May 17, 2022, at Los Baños, Laguna. The RCEF-RFFA provides P5,000 cash assistance to small rice farmers with land not exceeding two hectares to help them be more productive, competitive, and profitable.

Attended by around 700 farmers and fisherfolk, the RFFA program is expected to benefit almost 57,000 farmers in CALABARZON, receiving a total RFFA budget of 292.65 million pesos.

According to Riza Sanchez, 42, beneficiary from Bay, Laguna, the financial assistance she received will be used to purchase fertilizer and gasoline for the machine they would be using during land preparation.

Aside from the RFFA, other DA regional offices turned over certificates, machineries, and cash awards to the different local government units of Laguna for better implementation of different agri-fishery projects in the province. (DA-PhilRice Los Baños, FB)