Farm workers in a rice field. (Photo: Philippine Rice Research Institute via Flickr)

LANDBANK, DA to fast-track aid delivery to rice farmers

The Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) is working closely with the Department of Agriculture (DA) in the distribution of cash grants to farmer-beneficiaries under the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA) Program.

In response to concerns raised by the Federation of Free Farmers (FFF) on the alleged delays in the release of the P5,000 subsidies for rice farmers under the Program, LANDBANK said the non-release of the grants to 90,227 farmers in Regions I, II, III and VI is primarily due to the DA’s request for LANDBANK to procure Intervention Monitoring Cards (IMCs) which will be used for the distribution of the cash aid.

“LANDBANK is cognizant of the need for government cash assistance to reach marginalized Filipinos, especially our farmers. We assure the public that these limited and precious resources are being managed with utmost prudence, and we will continue to work closely with the DA for the immediate release of the cash grants,” said LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo.

From 01-18 August 2022, LANDBANK received from the DA the request for batch opening of accounts and card production for Region I with 58,103 accounts; Region II with 27,159 accounts; Region III with 3,978 accounts; and Region VI with 987 accounts.

The state-run Bank said it is now in the process of validating these accounts, and if all are in compliance with LANDBANK’s requirements, the distribution of 90,227 IMC cards for Regions I, II, III and VI will start on 07 September 2022.

The RFFA Program is part of the implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL), with the DA as the lead agency, and LANDBANK as the Program’s disbursing arm.

Thus, the Bank is dependent on the submission from the DA of the list of accounts of farmer-beneficiaries for opening and card production. The list will then be duly validated by LANDBANK.

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