Agri chief proposes purchase of palay from local farmers for 4Ps rice grant
MANILA, Philippines — As part of the government’s initiative to help Filipino farmers, Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar said Wednesday that he has proposed the distribution of rice to Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries instead of giving them cash as rice subsidy.
“Last week, we were in touch with the Secretary of DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development), ang proposal is why not give rice this time around and they’re open,” Dar said in a Palace briefing.
Current 4Ps beneficiaries get a P600 rice subsidy monthly.
Dar said the proposal is among the steps being taken by the government to help local farmers after some of them earlier said that farm gate prices of palay can go as low as P7 per kilo, way lower than the cost to produce it at which caused them huge income loss.
Under the proposal, the DSWD will source rice from local government units which will buy palay from local farmers and from the National Food Authority.
Dar said the DSWD and DA are currently on the “final stage” of discussion, adding that they are eyeing to implement the policy next quarter.
“We are at this stage of final discussions. Nag-suggest sila na mag-MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) na kami,” Dar said.
He also said that he will talk to some lawmakers to institutionalize his proposal.
4Ps is a national poverty reduction program that provides conditional cash transfer to poor households for a maximum of seven years.
It was introduced during the administration of Gloria Macagapal Arroyo and was continued by Benigno Aquino III, who turned 4Ps into his administration’s flagship anti-poverty program.
Under the Duterte administration, the program was institutionalized through the signing of Republic Act 11310 or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program Act. /je
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