All farmers are urged by the Department of Agriculture (DA) to enlist in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) and join organizations to access agriculture-related programs and services, including the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF).
In a press release by the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), the DA said that the eligible beneficiaries of RCEF under Republic Act 11203 or Rice Tariffication Law are farmers, farmworkers, and their dependents listed in the RSBA.
While RA 11203, RCEF was created to help farmers through a P10 billion fund for seed, machine, credit and extension support for the improvement of the Filipino rice farmers’ competitiveness.
The P10 billion will come from the tariffs collected in liberalizing the importation of rice supply, said the statement.
The Department of Finance (DOF) through the Bureau of Customs (BOC) had already given P6 billion to the DA as the collection of tariffs from January to July 2019.
“The program does not only aim to reduce the cost of production and increase farmers’ yields, but it also intends to strengthen FOs through agro-enterprise and collective activities. We are partnering with local government units so they can guide the farmers on RSBSA registration and membership to existing or formation of new FOs,” DA said in the statement.
RSBA is an electronic database containing basic information of farmers and fisherfolks, and members of DA-accredited farmer organizations (FOs) such as multipurpose cooperatives, irrigators’ associations, and people’s organizations.
It was noted that the farmers who are already enlisted in the DA-updated RSBSA will be prioritized this 2019 dry season.
The farmers that will be prioritized for the 2019 dry season are those who are already enlisted in the DA-updated RSBSA, while those who have just registered will be included in the seed distribution in the succeeding planting season, DA said.
DA stated that in order to be registered in the RSBSA, an individual must be 18 years old at the time of registration, a Filipino citizen, and must be a farmer, farm laborer or worker. The RSBSA form must be filled up and can be acquired through the city and municipal agriculture office or through the DA website.
Aside from the form, registrants must also present one original and photocopy of any valid identification cards such as the following:
- SSS/GSIS UMID card,
- Postal ID,
- TIN card,
- Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) ID,
- OWWA/iDOLE card
- Voter’s ID or certification from the election officer with a dry seal,
- PNP (Philippine National Police) firearms license,
- Senior citizen ID,
- or valid school ID for students
For registrants without valid ID, a duly signed barangay certification containing his/her permanent residence may be secured. They must also present proof of farming activity such as evidence of land ownership (land title/ certificate of land ownership/ deed of donation/ lease of agreement), municipal/city/ barangay business permit, or geotagged photos of their farm, if possible, DA stated.
Meanwhile, the municipal government and Municipal Agriculture and Fishery Council (MAFC) of Sta. Ignacia, Tarlac had initially helped their local farmers to complete the requirements for the RCEF-seed support in the country and scheduled to receive by October.