DBM approves P455-million funding to aid rice farmers
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Tuesday said that it had approved the release of a total of P455.59 million for the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Program (RCEP).
According to the agency's statement, the funds were disbursed to the Department of Agriculture (DA) and three other government-owned and controlled corporations to cover the fund’s operating requirements for the first quarter of 2024.
Other agencies set to receive allocations include the Land Bank of the Philippines, earmarked for P133,648,000; the Development Bank of the Philippines, allocated P120,000,000; and the Philippine Rice Research Institute, which is set to receive P178,141,000.
According to the DBM, the RCEF aims to "enhance the productivity and competitiveness of local rice farmers." It is designed to assist them in boosting their income through the "provision of farm machinery and equipment, rice seed development, propagation, and promotion," along with "expanded rice credit assistance and rice extension services."
The establishment of the fund was mandated by Republic Act No. 11203, also known as the Rice Tarrification Law, which specifies that the RCEF will comprise an annual allocation of P10 billion for the following six years.
The law further provides that the fund shall be allocated and disbursed to rice-producing areas as follows:
The DBM also confirmed its approval of Notices of Cash Allocation totaling P23.79 million to address the DA’s first quarter operating cash needs for the RCEF in 2024.
“Of the approved amount of P23.79 million, P10.972 million was released to DA- Agricultural Training Institute, while the remaining P12.823 million was released to DA - Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization,” the DBM said.
On Dec. 8 2023, farmer groups in Ilocos Norte province have received more than P105 million in agricultural equipment from the DA as a part of its program funded by RCEF.