(File photo)


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

Maria Teresa Carido, Financial Subsidy to Rice Farmers (FSRF) focal person for rice program of the DA in MIMAROPA region, said that out of the target 16,577 recipient farmers in Palawan, 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 will receive their financial aids.

“Nagkaroon na ng initial release doon sa mga dating SURE Aid beneficiaries. Meron kasi kaming programa last year, ngayon ay 3,642 for the whole Palawan. Nakapag-release na ng P5,000 [sa kanila,]” 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 lists of beneficiaries for payroll in Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP).

“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-an 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. The next recipients, on the other hand, are those enrolled in the updated database of RSBSA version 2 in 2019 up to May 2020.

Carido said that 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. Puwera pa dyan 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 15,577, ang basis kasi noon 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 be from the FSRF that is originally intended for provinces that are mostly affected by the start of the 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 Land Bank sa buong Palawan, iki-cater nila lahat ng munisipyong iyon,” she said.

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

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, out of 3,642 initial recipients, there are 196 farmers who have 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.