Over 44K Bicol farmers start to get DA’s cash aid
By Connie Calipay
CAMALIG, Albay --- Over 44,948 farmers in Albay and Sorsogon have started to receive PHP5,000 cash assistance each from the Department of Agriculture (DA) as provided for under Republic Act 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL).
Rose Belodo, Albay Provincial Agriculture Office (APAO) officer-in-charge, in an interview on Wednesday, said the farmer-beneficiaries of the cash assistance are those who own two hectares and below rice area as well as those registered with the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBA).
“For Albay, we have 26,798 farmer-beneficiaries, the first batch to receive were farmers from Legazpi City, Manito, Rapu-Rapu, and Sto. Domingo, while ongoing distribution was being conducted in the town of Camalig,” she said.
Belodo said they target to complete the distribution of cash assistance throughout the province by October 21.
She also said cash assistance to the farmers is one of the priority programs of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as part of strengthening the agricultural sector in the country.
“The Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA) program of the DA is anticipated to cushion the impact of the high production cost that affected so much the farming activities of the farmers,” Relodo said.
Meanwhile, the APAO chief said they are now holding a series of meetings together with local government officials in high-risk towns surrounding Mayon Volcano to determine the number of farmers that would be affected if alert status rises to level 3.
“We are now waiting for the report to be submitted by the municipal agriculture offices on how many farmers, livestock, and crops will be affected,” she said.
She added that animals particularly livestock will be included in preemptive evacuation in case Mayon erupts.
In Sorsogon, some 18,150 eligible farmers also started to receive PHP5,000 cash assistance.
“The cash assistance payout started Oct.11 until Oct. 20,” Sorsogon Provincial Information office said. (PNA)