Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 19) — Around 600,000 farmers tilling over a hectare of farmland will each receive ₱5,000 in cash assistance from the government in 2020 amid low palay prices.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar announced on Tuesday, the Cabinet approved the release of another ₱3 billion for the second round of unconditional
The government has yet to release the P3 billion for 600,000 farmers plowing less than a hectare of land before the year ends.
The Agriculture department has yet to finalize if the cash assistance will be given to farmers from areas most affected by low palay prices, or in 57 provinces where the Rice Enchancement Competitiveness Fund (RCEF) program is being implemented.
The Federation of Free Farmers and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas on Monday said the government should raise the cash assistance to ₱30,000 per farmer, explaining that ₱5,000 is a miniscule amount compared to their losses due to overimportation of rice.
Dar explained the ₱6 billion pesos will come from rice tariffs collected. They can only get additional funds if there is excess
in the P10 billion alloted for the mechanization, seed distribution and tranings for farmers RCEF programs.
"Ang rice tariffication law na nagsasabi, any excess from the tariff, unang allocation is sa RCEF.
excess will be used for cash transfer or to support crop insurance or support crop
diversification programs," Dar said.
[Translation: The rice tariffication law provides that any excess from the tariff will be used for cash transfer for cash transfer or to support crop insurance or support crop diversification programs.]