Sen. Imee asks Pangasinan farmers, fisherfolk to register with DA

Farmers and fisherfolk in Pangasinan must sign up with the Registry System for the Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) to avail of assistance from the Department of Agriculture (DA). Sen. Imee Marcos, at a press conference in this town Monday, said she believes the lists of the fisherfolk and farmers in the four provinces of Ilocos Region are already outdated. 'I was looking at the list and Pangasinan has a huge population but the number listed there is few,' she said. The RSBSA is a registry of farmers, fisherfolk and farm laborers that serves as a targeting mechanism for the identification of beneficiaries for different agriculture-related programs and services of the government. Under the special provisions of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), the Rice Farmer Financial Assistance program will provide unconditional cash assistance of PHP5,000 for rice farmers who are registered under the RSBSA and who are tilling land measuring two hectares and below. 'And there is fertilizer subsidy for the farmers and there is a transport subsidy worth PHP3,000 for the gas or diesel of the fisherfolk if they are registered with RSBSA,' Marcos said. 'In every importation of the country in agricultural products, there is a certain portion that will go to the farmers,' she added when asked about the possible rice importation this year. Based on the data of the DA Ilocos regional office as of July 5 this year, a total of 3,097,459 farmers nationwide have registered so far out of the 7,779,891 national target. DA records show that the Ilocos Region has almost filled up its five percent share in the national target. According to the DA, those eligible to register should secure and accomplish an RSBSA enrolment form that can be acquired from the local Municipal Agriculture Office or the DA - Regional Field Office, with a photocopy of any valid government identification card, proof of land ownership for farm owners and proof of agreement for lessees. The farmer's photo, biometrics, and signature will be taken upon registration. Enrollees will then receive a stub with the RSBSA number as proof of registration. Meamwhile, Marcos said she believes the price of rice will stabilize once farmers harvest by October. 'Simutin muna lahat nandito bago tayo import. Simutin muna local sabi ko sa DA at National Food Authority (Let us first consume our local produce before we import, I told the DA and NFA),' she said. This was supported by Rosendo So, president of farmers' group Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura, who said that the price of rice will return to PHP42 per kilo by October this year

Source: Philippines News Agency