By Adora Rodriguez, DA-AFID
In line with ensuring adequate, accessible and affordable food for all affected by the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), the Department of Agriculture (DA) continues to safeguard the welfare of farmers and fishers, who labor tirelessly in the farms and fishing grounds.
“As we ensure enough food for every Filipino, we also stand by our frontliners who help us fight hunger in the middle of this Covid-19 pandemic,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said.
As such, the DA continues to distribute P5,000 cash assistance to rice farmers under the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA) and Financial Support to Rice Farmers (FSRF), as provided by law, benefiting almost 1.2 million rice farmers in 57 rice-producing provinces.
“Last year, we started providing cash support to qualified rice farmers under RFFA to farmers tilling half hectare to two hectares of farmland. Now under the FSRF, farmers who till one hectare and below and are listed in our farmers’ registry or the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) will also get P5,000 cash assistance,” secretary Dar said.
“We assure Senator Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go and other legislators that the DA is doing its utmost to ensure the welfare of both producers and consumers in these challenging times,” he added.
Senator Go, who chairs the House Committee on Health, recently commended the agency’s efforts saying: “Ginagawa po ng DA ang lahat upang mapabilis ang pamamahagi ng mga ayuda sa lahat ng target beneficiaries, lalo na yung sa mga malalayong lugar.”
“Sa ilalim po ng ating oversight function ay sisiguraduhin din po natin na nabibigyan ang mga pinaka-nangangailangang magsasaka at mangingisda ng tulong ng gobyerno sa lalong madaling panahon,” he added.
Secretary Dar added that the DA likewise fully supports the ‘Balik-Probinsiya’ Program advocated recently by Senator Go as it will further boost government’s efforts to attain higher levels of food security.
“We will continue to count on the strong support of Senator Go and his colleagues at the Senate. Rest assured that we at the DA will do our part, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in attaining our shared vision of a food-secured Philippines teeming with prosperous farmers and fisherfolk,” the DA chief concluded.