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In Zambo Sibugay, the DA has begun distributing monetary aid to rice growers.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has begun distributing monetary support to rice farmers in Zamboanga Sibugay province through the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund-Rice Farmer Financial Assistance (RCEF–RFFA) program.

The first group of winners, according to DA-Zamboanga Peninsula (DA-9) Executive Director Rad Donn Cedeo, contains 1,329 qualified farmers in the town of Diplahan.

Cedeo said the cash assistance was delivered to the designated Diplahan clients through its fintech partner institution, Western Union, from Wednesday to Thursday.

From a total program fund of PHP6.7 million, each of the 1,329 farmer-beneficiaries received PHP5,000 plus PHP70 for their identification card.

Cedeo explained that the monetary support is part of a DA program for rice farmers who are registered in the Registry System for Basic Sector in Agriculture (RSBSA) and who till a total or cumulative area of up to two hectares through the Farmer and Fisherfolk Registration System (FFRS).

The RCEF-RFFA program is designed to help rice farmers who have been impacted by the Rice Tarrification Law’s implementation.

The government established the scheme to compensate rice farmers for anticipated income losses as a result of lower palay (rice grain) prices.

In a second statement, Evelyn Academia, the regional rice program focal person, said the DA will soon distribute PHP5,000 cash subsidies to 11,351 other rice farmers in Zamboanga Sibugay province.

According to Academia, a schedule has been established for the distribution of cash assistance to farmers from various municipalities in the province.

The province of Zamboanga Sibugay is divided into 16 municipalities, with Ipil as its seat.

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