State-owned Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) has released more than P1.485-billion in assistance to small-scale farmers under a cash aid program administered by the Department of Agriculture (DA), a top official said.
DBP President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel G. Herbosa said a total of 297,000 farmers received the cash assistance of P5,000 each under the DA’s Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA) Program.
“DBP has taken the necessary steps to fast-track the distribution of this assistance to help our farmers cope with the on-going COVID-19 pandemic and to compensate for the income loss due to falling prices of unmilled rice,” Herbosa said.
The RFFA is an unconditional cash transfer program for rice farmers in 33 rice-producing provinces across the country who are tilling a land area ranging from 500 square meters up to two hectares. Each beneficiary receives a P5,000 cash aid which can be used for farm inputs and implements.
DBP, along with Land Bank of the Philippines, have been tapped by DA in the payment and distribution of cash grants. DBP has partnered with BSP-licensed cash outlets to expedite the release of funds to farmer beneficiaries.
“Our partnership with cash outlets allowed DBP to leverage on the nationwide coverage and network of these firms enabling the Bank to complete the pay-outs seamlessly and more efficiently,” Herbosa said.