DA-12 set to release cash assistance to 50,000 rice farmers in Soccsksargen

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 24 August) – Some 50,000 rice farmers in Soccsksargen region have yet to receive cash assistance from the Department of Agriculture – Region 12 (DA-12) as part of the government’s mitigating measures against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

DA-12 regional director Arlan Mangelen admitted some “technical” problems in the release of cash aid for the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA).

One of the reasons he cited was the delay in the liquidation of the first tranche of the RFFA.

The local Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and other government-owned financial institutions were supposed to complete the liquidation weeks after the release in June.

Mangelen said the top management of LBP based in Metro Manila has strictly ordered its local branches to hasten the completion of the release of funds for the RFFA.

He made the clarification after receiving several complaints from rice farmers in North Cotabato that the cash cards they released last July 17 has no deposited funds.

Each RFFA beneficiary will receive P5,000 cash assistance from the department.

In Region 12, the first tranche of RFFA benefited some 30,000 rice farmers, according to Mangelen.