Agriculture Secretary William Dar urged qualified farmers to enlist in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) to avail of government assistance and benefits under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF).
Through the new registration process, Secretary Dar hopes to weed out unqualified individuals and organizations from the current RSBSA list to successfully implement the P10-billion-per-year program under RCEF.
“RSBSA is continuously being updated. It’s being used while [we are] culling [the list of unnecessary entries] and bringing in [legitimate] ones,” Dar said in a recent press conference in Quezon City.
This RSBSA database will be used to identify farmer-beneficiaries of the RCEF program. Implementing agencies for RCEF — to be carried out over six years starting 2019 — are the Philippine Rice Research Institute for the development, propagation, and promotion of high-yielding inbred rice seeds; Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization for the distribution of farm machines and postharvest facilities; and the Agricultural Training Institute and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority for capacity and skills development. Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines will provide the necessary credit support and linkages.
Secretary Dar said the Department of Agriculture (DA) will employ new tools and appropriate technologies to make the RSBSA “more fool-proof” in providing targeted intervention in the agri-fishery sector.
The RSBSA, an inter-agency project, is a nationwide registry of baseline information of farmers, farm laborers, and fisher folk from identified provinces, as well as geographical coordinates of agricultural and fishery workers households. Agencies involved are departments of budget, agriculture, agrarian reform, and interior and local government, Philippine Statistics Authority, and National Anti-Poverty Commission.
Since its inception 2012, the RSBSA has been a viable tool for the Agriculture department in effectively extending assistance to farmers and fishers.
However, the program was also used by previous administrations for political gains and corruption, Dar said, citing the questionable lists of farmer-beneficiaries used for the government’s agriculture programs.
“For the next six years, we would like to believe that if properly implemented, RCEF can make the Filipino rice farmer more productive, more competitive, and more prosperous,” Secretary Dar said.
Rice growers all over the country must go to their local government units (LGUs) and regional field offices (RFOs) to sign up for the said program.
To ensure that only qualified farmers and organizations will benefit from the RCEF programs, an inter-agency validation team will cross-check the updated RSBSA database through actual field screening process.
Mr. Noel O. Reyes
Spokesperson and Assistant Secretary for
Communications and Media Affairs