Landbank of the Philippines (Landbank) is extending assistance through cash cards to rice farmers in Davao Region who are affected with the Rice Tariffication Law through its Expanded Survival and Recovery Assistance program or SURE Aid.
The SURE Aid program targets rice farmers affected by the drop of palay farmgate prices. The program allows a one-time zero-interest loan of P15,000 for farmers tilling one hectare.
“SURE Aid more simplified not a typical lending program based on the records of the Department of Agriculture once you are identified as most affected by the rice tariffication law they will just enrol you and credit the account no more documentary requirements release the fund,” Christian Harvey Wong, account officer of Landbank Davao, told media in Monday’s Kapehan sa Davao.
Wong said currently they are targeting around 16,000 farmers in Davao Region to be enrolled in the said program. He said what they have right now is the records of farmers from DA.
“This Sure Aid will be processing initially those with DA. We will continue with our collaboration with DA once we submit the other names of the farmers they will processed it include them in their Sure Aid,” Wong said.
For the mechanics, Wong said the assistance from Landbank for Sure Aid will be through cash card.
“Its P15,000 direct immediate assistance for one hectare limit to soften the impact of rice tariffication law which is to be paid eight years with zero interest,” he said.
Wong said Landbank will issue the farmers with cash cards, which is a one- time use card. He said these cards are Buffer cards intended for other programs.
“It can be use for 4Ps but because of the urgency of this concerned of the palay farmers we have decided to use for the meantime this buffer cards to be used for farmer beneficiaries,” he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed February this year into law the Rice Tariffication Law an act that will lift import restrictions on rice. After the implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law on March 2019, domestic farmgate prices have dropped due to competition from cheaper imported rice.