Representatives of city rice farmers pose with Landbank of the Philippines (LBP) staff, Mayor Lucilo Bayron, City Agriculturist Melissa Macasaet, and Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Executive Director Antonio Gerundio, for their P3-million assistance fund under the Survival and Recovery Aid (SURE Aid) Program of DA National.

Around P3-million in assistance fund was granted to 193 Puerto Princesa rice farmers under the Survival and Recovery Aid (SURE Aid) Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Monday.

Antonio Gerundio, the Regional Executive Director of the DA in MIMAROPA in an interview Monday said this is to help the farmers cope with the impact of rice tarification law.

“We are hoping they will be able to spread doon sa kanilang production activities lalo na sa pagbili ng mga pataba,” said Gerundio.

Gerundio said each of the 193 city rice farmer receives a P15,000 loan grant, which is payable for eight years without any interest.

Gerundio said this assistance program is covered by the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) of DA.

Enera Tuibeo, the assistant city agriculturist in a separate interview Monday said those chosen rice farmers were the most in need.

Tuibeo said the farmers given with this assistance were those who planted rice this year and those having only one hectare of farmland for their rice plantation.

She said proper validations were conducted by the DA regional and the City Agriculture Office (CAO).

“Iyon po [ang 193] ang naging slots ng Puerto Princesa kasi kung baga region merong number of farmers then hinati-hati kaya ang Puerto Princesa ay nagkaroon ng 193 slots,” she said.

Tuibeo said these farmers are from Barangays Babuyan, Bacungan, Bahile, Buenavista, Inagawan, Inagawan-Sub, Irawan, Kamuning, Macarascas, Salvacion, Bagong Bayan, and Tagabinet.

Tuibeo said there are around 7,000 farmers in the city, of which 2,000 are rice farmers.

She said the fund will be dispersed to the 193 rice farmer receipents through the Landbank of the Philippines (LBP) starting Monday, October 20.


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