DINALUPIHAN, Bataan – In their continuing efforts to aid rice farmers throughout the country, the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) continued with the roll-out of the Rice Farmer Financial Assistance (RFFA) Program in Dinalupihan, Bataan last February 3, 2020.
Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar and LANDBANK Executive Vice President Julio D. Climaco, Jr. led the awarding of LANDBANK Cash Cards to 276 rice farmers from Pampanga and 377 rice farmers from Bataan, loaded with P5,000 each or a total of P3.27 million in cash assistance.
They are joined by Bataan Governor Albert S. Garcia, Dinalupihan Mayor Gila S. Garcia, DA OIC Regional Executive Director for Region III Crispulo G. Bautista, Jr., LANDBANK Central Luzon Branches Group Head First Vice President Sylvia C. Lim, and LANDBANK Bataan Lending Center Head Melissa V.A. Abundo.
The RFFA Program aims to give P5,000 financial assistance each to rice farmers tilling 0.5 to 2 hectares of land in 33 provinces nationwide.
The national government has allocated P3 billion in 2019 to fund the Program, which would benefit a total of 600,000 rice farmers affected by the decrease of palay prices.
LANDBANK, as a disbursing agent, will distribute P1.5 billion or half of the RFFA Program Fund to 300,000 rice farmers, while the balance will be disbursed by the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).
As of February 3, 2020, a total of 5,822 LANDBANK Cash Cards totalling P29.1 million in cash assistance have been distributed to rice farmers nationwide since the Program was launched in December 2019, broken down as follows: Pangasinan – 499; Ilocos Norte – 1,965; Nueva Ecija – 480; Zamboanga Del Sur – 963; North Cotabato – 1,262; Bataan – 377; Pampanga – 276.
“LANDBANK continues to strengthen its partnership with the Department of Agriculture by supporting its various programs, such as the RFFA, to further intensify our support to small palay farmers,” said LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo.
Farmers from the provinces of Apayao, Kalinga, Ifugao, Davao de Oro (formerly Compostela Valley), Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, and Davao Oriental were also identified to receive the assistance from future roll-outs of the RFFA Program.