ECQ-affected farmers can claim OTC cash subsidy -- DA

April 20, 2020

The beneficiaries of the Financial Subsidy to Rice Farmers program can claim their assistance through over-the-counter bank transactions, Agriculture Sec. William Dar said.

Dar said Agriculture officials  have accelerated the distribution of financial assistance to rice farmers amid the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.

The small rice farmer-beneficiaries, he said, were previously using cash cards to avail the financial aid.

However, the ECQ caused various limitations for the beneficiaries to get the financial subsidy.

The DA, he said, decided to accelerate the cash distribution from "cash cards to the over-the-counter transactions."

For beneficiaries who have yet to receive the cash assistance, he said, they can transact through the over-the-counter banking system of the Landbank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines.

"We already gave a validated list of beneficiaries to the DBP and Landbank (so) there will be a smooth distribution of cash assistance for the next 12 days," he said.

He added the over-the-counter transaction hastens the distribution of the financial subsidy to rice farmers.

DA is targeting 591,246 farmer-beneficiaries to receive financial assistance from the P3-billion budget, which started last year.

An additional P3 billion was earlier released under the 2020 General Appropriations Act, to further augment the needs of the farmers who are affected by the quarantine measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease.

"This P6 billion is being workout and a good number of them have now received this financial subsidy from the government," he said.

Dar said the rice farmers who are affected by the initial impact of the quarantine measures will be receiving financial assistance worth P5,000 each–which they can use "to buy either farm inputs, food supply for their families or anything they need".