February 6, 2023

The Department of Agriculture-Cordillera through the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA) Program gave P5,000 each to 626 rice farmers in Ifugao.
The financial assistance provided to farmers of Asipulo, Kiangan, Aguinaldo, and Lamut on Feb. 28 is the first tranche of cash distribution in the province.
DA-Regional Technical Director for Operations Danilo P. Daguio said that the RFFA is not a loan program but an unconditional cash transfer that aims to assist the rice farmers nationwide who are directly affected by the Rice Tariffication Law that took effect last year.
The rice farmers received the cash assistance through the Landbank of the Philippines, one of the DA’s partners in implementing the RFFA and other agriculture-related financial assistance. Land Bank personnel assisted the farmers in activating the card for it to become operational.
The RFFA program caters to smallholder rice farmers with farm areas ranging from 0.5 to two hectares and are currently registered to the Registry System for Basic Services in Agriculture (RSBSA).
“The financial assistance is very helpful to us farmers especially in rice farming due to the big decline in the price in palay,” said Arsenio Balacquit, a senior-citizen rice farmer from Lamut.
Records of the DA-Rice Banner Program showed there are more than 3,000 valid records of Ifugao farmer-beneficiaries under the RFFA that were submitted to the LBP for further verification and eventually, provision of cash cards.
Ifugao Agriculture Provincial Coordination Officer Charlemagne Monayao reiterated the importance of properly registering and/or updating information to the RSBSA.
Being registered to the system makes the farmers and fisherfolk eligible to avail of various assistance related to agriculture, Monayao said. – Janice B. Agrifino