MANILA - The Department of Agriculture (DA) will distribute P5,000 worth of cash and food assistance to more than 890,000 farmers and fisherfolk in the country as part of the government's response to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, the agency said Monday.
The DA, its various implementing agencies, and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) signed on Monday the memorandum of agreement and implementing guidelines for its Cash and Food Subsidy for Marginal Farmers and Fisherfolk (CFSMFF) Program .
Under the CFSMFF program, which is funded by the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2), each of the identified 890,794 beneficiaries will receive P3,000 in cash and P2,000 worth of food items. The distribution will start this month.
Eligible beneficiaries that can claim assistance are farmers of corn, coconut and sugarcane; fishermen; and indigenous people (IP) who are also farmers and fisherfolk.
They can claim the P3,000 cash support in any DBP-accredited payout centers upon showing a government-issued ID and a unique reference code sent by DA implementing agencies via text message, said Roy Abaya, Director of DA Field Operations Service.
The food assistance, meanwhile, can be claimed at any DA-recognized KADIWA supplier in their area upon presentation of any government-issued ID and QR code sent by implementing agencies.
The use of text messages, QR codes and ATM in claiming assistance is also a part of the government's mandate to digitalization to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The P4.5-billion CFSMFF program aims to provide a secured and direct food and financial assistance to farmers and fishers whose income are severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the DA said.
This will also give market support to local producers of chicken and rice, as well as source of livelihood to micro, small and medium enterprises as the DA’s distribution partner.
Bayanihan 2 allocated a total of P24 billion to the DA for direct cash assistance or low-interest rate subsidies to qualified agri-fishery enterprises, farmers and fisherfolk.