Oriental Mindoro farmers receive cash aid, urged to sell rice to NFA

PARTNERS IN DEVELOPMENT. Oriental Mindoro Governor Humerlito Dolor (right) presents a token to House Speaker Martin Romualdez after the opening ceremonies of the Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair in Calapan City on Saturday (March 9, 2024). Romualdez led the distribution of cash assistance to farmers but urged them to sell some of their rice harvests to the National Food Authority to help build up the country’s rice stocks. (Photo courtesy of Gov. Bonz Dolor Facebook)

CALAPAN CITY, Oriental Mindoro – The Marcos administration is extending more financial assistance to rice farmers here who pledged to support and participate in the government’s efforts to build up the country’s rice stocks.

House Speaker Martin Romualdez on Saturday underscored this symbiotic relation between the government and the agricultural sector during the Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair launch at the Oriental Mindoro National High School in Barangay San Vicente here.

About 2,000 farmers gathered at the two-day event and received a P2,000 cash assistance each under the administration’s Farmers Assistance for Recovery and Modernization (FARM).

In return, the farmers must set aside at least 100 kilos of their rice harvest to sell to the National Food Authority (NFA).

Romualdez said building up the NFA rice reserves and maintaining a big buffer stock will allow the country to avoid shortages during times of calamity, drought and other emergencies.

He reassured the province’s agricultural sector that its interests continue to be a top priority of the Marcos administration.

“I have come here along with several other congressmen to bring to you the FARM program, which serves to implement the President’s (Marcos) vision of uplifting the plight of farmers. Mindoro is a rice granary… we recognize your contributions to supplying rice not only to the province, or the region, but the entire nation,” Romualdez told the local farmers in Filipino.

Oriental Mindoro is currently beset with a prolonged dry spell brought about by El Niño phenomenon that has so far placed two municipalities, Bulalacao and Mansalay, under states of calamity.

Earlier this week, the Department of Agriculture, under its Rice Farmers Financial Assistance Program, distributed cash assistance of P5,000 each farmer in the two towns. (PNA)