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PBBM orders DA to utilize excess RCEP collections to support rice farmers
PBBM orders DA to utilize excess RCEP collections to support rice farmers
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PBBM orders DA to utilize excess RCEP collections to support rice farmers
by Ellicia Del Mundo09 October 2023
Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. has ordered the Department of Agriculture (DA) to utilize the excess collections of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) to support Filipino rice farmers in sustaining their productivity, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said on Sunday, Oct. 8

In a statement posted on its website, PCO said the President, who also sits as the DA Secretary, handed over the directive during his recent meeting with DA officials.

"President Marcos said the RCEF excess collection beyond the P10 billion requirement should be used to provide drying, mechanization, and other equipment support to rice farmers to sustain their productivity," it said.

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Alongside this, the communications agency said Marcos tasked the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to ensure that all local government units (LGUs) will "rationalize the pass-through fees and other transport costs imposed on motor vehicles transporting goods like rice and other products."

Last Sept. 29, the President issued an executive order (EO) No. 41 directing LGUs to stop the collection of pass-through fees for motor vehicles passing on local and national roads to deliver goods and merchandise.

A few days after the EO was issued, Marcos ordered and approved the release of ₱12.7 billion in funds for cash assistance to small rice farmers to help them increase and sustain their productivity ahead of the El Niño phenomenon.

The 2.3 million small rice farmers will each receive ₱5,000 cash assistance. The exact period of cash distribution was yet to be disclosed.

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