Villar seeks inquiry on disbursement of special fund for rice farmers

Villar seeks inquiry on disbursement of special fund for rice farmers

Senator Cynthia Villar has filed Senate Resolution No. 39 to look into the distribution of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) following the signing of the Republic Act No. 11203 or the rice tariffication law.

RA 11203 mandated that P10 billion of the tariff collections on rice imports shall be appropriated annually for rice farmers through various programs that would help increase their production. In her resolution, Villar cited reports that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released in December 2018 P5 billion for the RCEF. Half of the fund shall be allocated to the Philippine Center for Post Harvest Development and Modernization (PhilMech); 30 percent to the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice); 10 percent for the credit facility that will be managed by the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP); and 10 percent for farmers’ training on rice crop production, modern rice farming techniques, seed production, farm mechanization, and knowledge or technology transfer.

The Senator added that the agencies involved in implementation of the law should be ready by now otherwise they might miss the planting season on December to March.