The Department of Agriculture (DA) in MIMAROPA has started to release P5,000 initial financial assistance to some 3,642 farmers in Palawan who are tilling one hectare and below rice fields.

Financial Subsidy to Rice Farmers (FSRF) focal person for rice program of DA MIMAROPA Maria Teresa Carido said that out of the target 16,577 recipient farmers in Palawan, around 3,642 farmers who are enrolled in the Survival and Recovery (SURE) Aid Program or the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) version 1.1

“Nagkaroon na ng initial release don sa mga dating SURE Aid beneficiaries. Meron kasi kaming programa last year, ngayon ay 3,642 for the whole Palawan. Nakapag-release na ron ng P5,000,” she said.

Carido said that the remaining allocation out of the indicative target is 12,935 beneficiaries. However, DA MIMAROPA has submitted a payroll more than the allocation on April 30 resulting in 14 226 submitted list of beneficiaries for payroll in LandBank of the Philippines.

“Pinayagan kasi kami sumobra doon sa indicative target kasi ‘yong ibang region ay hindi pa nila nasa-satisfy iyong allocation nila para iyong buong budget ng FSRF ay magamit. Total naman indicative lang yong target, pinayagan kami mag-submit more than the allocation namin,” she said.

“As of now, hinihintay na lang namin ma-load’n iyong payroll ng cash, nasa 14, 226 beneficiaries. Anytime from now, mag-schedule na iyan ng release. Hinihintay lang ang loading ng cash,” she said.

Carido said that the first batch of recipients are those enrolled in RSBSA version 1.1 in 2015 and called as SURE Aid Program. While the next recipients are those enrolled in the updated database of RSBSA version 2 in 2019 up to May 2020.

Carido said that the RSBSA enrollment is still ongoing and based on the regional record, about 17, 868 farmers with one hectare and below have updated their RSBSA forms from 2019 to present.

“Ongoing kasi iyong enrollment, ang latest na figure ko for Palawan as of December (2019) nasa 15,651 iyong total na enrollment sa RSBSA. Pwera pa diyan yong enrolled ngayong January up to May. As of now, nasa 17,868 na yong nakapag-update ng RSBSA forms nila,” she said.

“Yong binigay na indicative target sa amin ay 16,577, ang basis kasi non ay previous na data na nakuha ng central office. Indicative target lang ‘yon, since marami ang nakapag-update at qualified sila ay isinama namin sa payroll,” she said.

She said that the deadline for submission of payroll is only until May 8 as per the directive of the agriculture secretary.

The P5,000 financial assistance will get from the FSRF that is originally intended for provinces which mostly affected by the start of Rice Tariffication and Import Liberalization Law.

Carido said that they are uncertain if all the target recipients would receive the cash assistance until the end of the month as they are considering factors such as the geographical location of Palawan.

“We are considering unang-una iyong geographical location ng Palawan. Di ba masyadong malalayo ang mga munisipyo. Now, we only have three branches of LandBank sa buong Palawan, iki-cater nila lahat ng munisipyong iyon,” she said.

She said that all the target recipients have already endorsed to LandBank of the Philippines and DA MIMAROPA is waiting for cash to be loaded to the payroll.

“Lahat iyan ay na-endorse na namin sa LandBank at most likely ay malo-load’n na rin iyan ng cash kasi available na rin naman iyong cash. Meron lang kasing verification process ang LandBank na sinusunod nila kaya it takes two to three days before ma-approve yong buong payroll,” she said.

Carido said that due to the limited number of LandBank branches in Palawan, DA MIMAROPA is trying to arrange the releases per municipality for the convenience of farmers.

As per the breakdown given by DA MIMAROPA on May 4 record, out of 3, 642 initial recipients, there are 196 farmers received from Aborlan; 125 from Araceli; 222 from Bataraza; 258 from Brooke’s Point; 115 from Busuanga; 134 from Coron; 13 from Culion; 155 from Dumaran; 263 from El Nido; 235 from Sofronio Española; 508 from Narra; 193 from Puerto Princesa City; 252 from Quezon; 211 from Rizal; 380 from Roxas; 154 from San Vicente; and 228 from Taytay.