KALIBO, Aklan, June 7 (PIA) -- The distribution of the Financial Subsidy for Rice Farmers (FSRF) in the province of Aklan is nearing completion, based on the latest data provided by the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) here.
The FSRF is one of the interventions of the Department of Agriculture (DA) for Aklan farmers as response to the COVID-19 crisis, an initiative to assist small rice farmers who plant one hectare or less listed in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA).
Under the program, each qualified farmer receives P5,000.00 subsidy, which he could use to buy either farm farm inputs, food for their families, or anything they need.
Per latest data from OPA, the payout percentage for FSRF in Aklan has reached 86.27% already, and once the next payouts are conducted with the last schedule set on June 13, 2020, the cash distribution will be completed.
For the period, a total of 17,772 farmers from Aklan's 17 municipalities already received their cash assistance, while 1,091 have yet to claim theirs.
A total amount of P88,610,000.00 had been distributed/paid out by the LBP to beneficiaries since the start of payout on May 7, 2020.
The last payout conducted, led by the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) Kalibo and Caticlan, Malay, Aklan branches, was on May 30, 2020.
The LBP payout to farmers is regularly assisted by the DA, OPA, and Municipal Agriculture Offices (MAOs) of Aklan LGUs.
LBP-Kalibo took care of payouts for 13 Aklan towns namely Kalibo, Banga, Altavas, Batan, Malinao, Libacao, Makato, Madalag, Lezo, Numancia, New Washington, Balete and Tangalan, while LBP-Caticlan Branch paid out the farmers from Ibajay, Nabas, Malay and Buruanga.
Initially, the DA allocated FSRF fund for 19,253 rice farmers in the province. Latest data from OPA, however, showed that the figure rose to 20,543.
According to OPA-Aklan Assistant Provincial Agriculturist Salome David, all these farmers could each receive the P5,000.00 assistance.
On the other hand, those who failed to claim their subsidies during set schedule can still get theirs from the LBP.
Some of the reasons cited why some farmers failed to get their subsidies include being locked down in Manila and other areas outside Aklan during the payout schedule, beneficiary was sick, double entry, or the listed farmer was also a SURE AID beneficiary, another intervention program provided by the DA. (JSC/VGV/PIA6 Aklan)