The Department of Agriculture (DA) has urged rice farmers anew to register to avail the services offered by the government under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF).
They said that the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) is the database that contained primary information of the farmers, fishermen, members of farmer’s associations, multi-purpose cooperatives, irrigators associations, and people’s organizations accredited by their agency.
The DA said that for the rice farmer to enroll at RSBSA, they should visit their respective municipal and city agriculture’s office. They need to present any proof of identity so that they could proceed with the enrollment and registration to the system.
“Ang pagiging rehistrado sa RSBSA ay isa sa mga pangunahing kwalipikasyon upang maging benepisyaryo ng mga serbisyo sa ilalim ng Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF),” the DA said.
To ensure food security and to make the country’s agriculture sector viable, efficient and globally competitive, the Republic Act 11203 also known as the Rice Tariffication Law was passed into law.
The law created the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) or Rice Fund to improve rice farmers’ competitiveness and income amidst liberalization of the country’s rice trade policy that lifted quantitative restrictions on rice imports and replaced it with tariffs, among others. RCEF has P10-billion annual budget for the next six years which will be allocated for rice farm mechanization, rice seed development, propagation, and promotion or known as the Seed Program, expanded rice credit assistance, and rice extension services.
Antonio Gerundio, Regional Executive Director of the DA-MIMAROPA said that a total of 3,200 rice farmers in entire Palawan, including the 200 rice farmers from Puerto Princesa City received their P15,000 loan from the LandBank of the Philippines (LBP) as part of the DA’s SUrvival and REcovery Assistance Program (SURE Aid) to those affected by Rice Tariffication Law.
The rice farmers the city were residents of rice-producing villages of Bacungan, Bahile, Babuyan, Buenavista, Inagawan, Inagawan-Sub, Irawan, Kamuning, Macarascas, Salvacion, Bagong Bayan, and Tagabinet.
RCEF covers 57 provinces in the country with high potential to improve competitiveness. It intends to roughly translates to 1,010 towns and cities with about 1.89 million rice farmers listed in the RSBSA.