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With the intent to discuss and inform the stakeholders with regard to the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), DA RFO I thru the rice banner program convened the municipal and city agriculturists and rice program coordinators in the region for a special meeting held at the Farmers’ Pavilion, Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan and Philrice, Batac, Ilocos Norte on October 17 and 18, respectively.

Dr. Annie Q. Bares, Chief of the DA-RFO I Operations Division, underscored the RCEF program and how it can benefit farmers. RCEF is a program where farmers can acquire numbers of interventions from the tariffs collected on rice imports.

However, an individual farmer must be included in the registry system for basic sector in agriculture (RSBSA)and farmers’ group must be accredited by the Department of Agriculture to be considered eligible.

With this, Ms. Josephine Cabanban, Supervising Agriculturist, presented the guidelines for the accreditation of farmers’ cooperative and associations (FCAs) as beneficiaries of the rice fund.

She briefly discussed the general requirements which include: letter of intent, valid certificate from recognized government agency, farmer association profile with names of officials and members, omnibus sworn certification and endorsement from the MAFC or LGU.

Duly registered FOs/FAs, irrigators associations/SWISAs/ARBOs, government-organized NGOs/POs accredited by RFOs, and agriculture-based MPCs are the entities that can apply for DA accreditation.

Also highlighted during the meeting was the updating of the said data system wherein Ms. Leah P. Coloma, discussed the protocol for registration and updating of the RSBSA.

Upon the provision of the official enrollment form by the ICTS, Regional Field Offices are in-charge of the distribution of enrollment forms with control numbers to local government units. The enrollment forms will be distributed to their respective areas for the farmers and farmers’ cooperatives and associations that are not yet included or registered in the registry system.

Requirements needed in the application for registration are 2x2 ID pictures, a copy of the land title or any written proof or agreement for the lessee/tenant, and any of the following government-issued IDs: national ID, SSS ID, GSIS ID, UMID card, postal ID, TIN ID, passport, PRC ID, OWWA ID, iDOLE, voter’s ID, senior’s ID, and school ID for students.

Completely filled out forms shall be certified true and correct by the MAO/CAO, MAFC/CAFC, or barangay officials before submitting to the respective LGU. Farmers will be given enrollment stub with control number and official stamp by the MAO/CAO upon submission of fully accomplished forms. MAO/CAO shall then endorse the enrollment forms to RFOs.

The RSBSA is a registry of farmers, fisherfolks, and farm laborers that will be used by DA and other agencies in identifying beneficiaries for the provision of interventions under the RCEF and other government programs and services including farm machinery, high-quality seeds, trainings and services, and loan programs.

Other matters and updates on the RCEF seed component were also tackled during the meeting.

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