Marcos approves P12.7B tariff support for farmers
MANILA, Philippines — A P12.7 billion excess tariff has been approved to support the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA) program, which aims to aid approximately 2.3 million farmers, Malacañang said on Saturday.
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. ordered the release on Thursday, intending to assist small rice farmers in maintaining production in light of the nation’s agricultural challenges.
“This would help them cope with the rising cost of production and sustain their productivity even in the face of challenges like the upcoming El Niño phenomenon,” Marcos said in a statement.
The Palace said that roughly 2.3 million beneficiaries are registered under the program in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA). According to the Palace, these beneficiaries include farm cooperative associations, irrigators associations, agrarian reform beneficiary organizations, small water impounding system associations, and other farming groups.
Each beneficiary will receive P5,000 in financial assistance, amounting to the P12.7 billion fund. This fund comes from the excess tariff collected from rice imports in 2022.
“The RFFA is an unconditional financial assistance for farmers tilling below two hectares of land as mandated under Republic Act (RA) No. 11598, or the Cash Assistance to Filipino Farmers Act of 2021,” the Presidential Communications Office clarified.
Additionally, the Palace confirmed that President Marcos approved a P700 million excess tariff for the Household Crop Diversification Program’s “Palayamanan Plus” conditional cash transfer. This ensures that RSBSA-registered farmers in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program can access food, nutrition, and income security.
The Palace stated that approximately 78,000 individuals will benefit from this program, with each recipient receiving P10,000.
Both financial assistance initiatives are in support of the Masagana Rice Industry Development Programs, the Palace added.