DBM releases P8.5 billion for COVID-19 food security program

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The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released P8.5 billion for the funding requirements of the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) intervention program in order to ensure food security during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-1) pandemic.

In a statement, the DBM said P8.5 billion was released to the DA on April 16.

The P8.5 billion will cover the funding requirements for the Rice Resiliency Project (RRP) of the Agriculture department under its Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra COVID-19 program.

The DA said the RRP, expected to benefit around three million rice farmers nationwide, aims to ensure the availability of rice supply through increased local rice production during the 2020 wet season.

The program shall be implemented under the three sub-projects namely:

1. Enhanced Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) – a fertilizer support for the RCEF-targeted 947 inbred rice municipalities to complement the effort of RCEF Seed Component

2. Expanded Inbred Rice Production (Beyond RCEF Areas) – an expanded inbred certified seed distribution during wet season to enhance production in non-RCEF areas, to be coupled with inorganic fertilizer distribution

3. Expanded Hybrid Rice Production in Suitable Areas – an intensified promotion of high-yield technology through distribution of hybrid rice seeds and inorganic fertilizers in all regions

The amount is charged against the pooled savings from discontinued unreleased appropriations consistent with Section 4(v ) of Republic Act No. 11469, otherwise known as the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act,” the DBM said./Stacy Ang

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