By Marie Tonette Marticio

TACLOBAN City – A total of 864 farmers in Baybay City, Leyte received cash assistance from the Department of Agriculture Regional Office (DA-8) Thursday (May 21).

Each farmer received P5,000 cash, or a total of P4.32 million, under the Financial Subsidy for Rice Farmers (FSRF) who have suffered the brunt of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

DA-8 regional director Angel Enriquez said that the DA has started giving off financial aid to rice farmers even when COVID scare has not happened yet.

“If you may recall, last year, in order to cushion the impact of the rice tarriffication law, the DA has already started giving off a similar amount in some areas in the region vastly affected by the inflation of rice prices. We used to call this as RFFA or Rice Farmers Financial Assistance,” the official explained.

However, with the threat posed by COVID-19, she said the cash aid continued but is now named FSRF, which is the agency’s share of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) of the government.

“We hope that you won’t put to waste this cash aid that our gov’t has given you,” she asked the farmer-beneficiaries.

Mayor Cari expressed his gratitude to the national government for extending help to his farmer-constituents.

The mayor acknowledged the sustained assistance being given by DA to his city which even extends to other municipalities in the 5th district of Leyte.