Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA) Program

The Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA) Program, initiated by President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., is designed to support Filipino rice producers who face increasing production costs and challenges such as the El Nino phenomenon. 

With a budget of PhP12 billion, the program provides PhP5,000 in unconditional cash assistance to each eligible farmer cultivating two hectares or less, aiming to reach approximately 2.4 million beneficiaries. 

The assistance, drawn from excess tariffs on rice importations, aims to enhance agricultural productivity and economic stability among farmers. 

Credits: PNA

Program Overview

Initiated to offset the increasing costs of production and anticipated challenges such as the El Nino phenomenon, the RFFA Program promises PhP5,000 in unconditional cash support to each eligible farmer. 

As of December 27, 2023, 44,719 farmers who cultivate two hectares or less have benefited from this program. 

With an estimated target of 2.4 million beneficiaries, this program marks a significant government effort to sustain agricultural productivity.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for the RFFA Program, farmers must be registered in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture as of June 30, 2023. 

This registry identifies producers who are actively engaged in rice cultivation and ensures that the support is directed to those genuinely in need.


The key requirement for receiving financial aid under the RFFA Program is registration in the mentioned agricultural registry by the specified date. 

Farmers need to ensure their details are up to date in the system to facilitate the smooth processing of their application.

Step-by-Step Guide to Avail of RRFA Assistance

Farmers wishing to avail themselves of the RFFA Program should follow these steps:

  1. Verify your registration and details in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture.
  2. Await notification from the Department of Agriculture or check their official announcements for updates on the disbursement schedule.
  3. Visit designated USSC stores or affiliated ATMs under BancNet to withdraw the financial support.

The Mechanism of Distribution

The process of disbursing these funds has been streamlined through a collaboration between the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Development Bank of the Philippines. 

The latter has partnered with USSC, a homegrown fintech firm, to utilize its extensive network of over 850 stores and various ATMs across the country. 

This strategic partnership ensures that financial aid reaches rice producers promptly, enabling them to prepare better for the New Year and upcoming farming cycles.

Geographic Outreach and Future Prospects

Regions such as CAR, CARAGA, and MIMAROPA have seen the highest number of withdrawals, indicating a significant uptake of the support where it’s most needed. 

Jonathan Relucio, Chief of Branches at USSC, notes that the momentum is expected to continue, with more withdrawals anticipated in the early days of January. 

Such trends underscore the program’s important role in supporting the rice farming communities across the archipelago.

Broader Implications for Filipino Farmers

The RFFA Program not only provides immediate financial relief but also represents a sustainable investment in the agricultural sector’s resilience. 

By using excess tariffs collected from rice importations, the program is an innovative approach to reallocating financial resources to where they are most needed. 

Moreover, as an unconditional grant, it respects producers’ autonomy by allowing them to determine the best use of the funds, whether for agricultural inputs or personal needs.

Recent Updates

DA Supports Earlier Certification of Rice Tariffs for Farmer Assistance

The Department of Agriculture (DA) in the Philippines is backing the proposal to certify rice import tariffs earlier to expedite the implementation of programs aimed at supporting rice producers, including cash aid. 

By completing necessary bidding and procurement processes within the first quarter, the DA can roll out additional efforts to enhance rice farmers’ productivity, utilizing excess tariff collections for crop diversification, solar-powered irrigation systems, small water impounding systems, and financial aid. 

The proposed amendments to the rice tariffication law (RTL) will determine the allocation of these excess tariffs under the DA secretary’s discretion. (Philstar Global)

DA Provides Cash Aid to Farmers in Tacurong City

In Tacurong City, the Department of Agriculture (DA) handed over P11.8 million in cash aid to 2,378 rice producers as part of the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA) program. 

Each farmer received a P5,000 subsidy to offset income losses caused by declining palay prices and rising input costs. 

The aid was distributed through the Intervention Monitoring Cards (IMC-EMV), streamlining the distribution process. (Philippine Information Agency)

Financial Assistance Provided to Farmers in Occidental Mindoro

The Department of Agriculture (DA) distributed financial aid to 9,876 producers in Occidental Mindoro under the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance Program. 

Each farmer received P5,000, providing temporary relief and support in line with the implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law. 

This aims to assist farmers during challenging times and promote the stability of the agricultural sector.

Cash Assistance Provided to Rice Farmers in Oriental Mindoro

In Oriental Mindoro, 927 rice producers from Bulalacao and 215 farmers from Mansalay received cash aid through the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund – Rice Farmers Financial Assistance Program. 

The aid aims to support farmers affected by the ongoing El Niño drought, with the Department of Agriculture – MIMAROPA Rice Program leading the distribution in collaboration with local officials and coordinators.

Agricultural Interventions Awarded to Farmers and Fisherfolk in Iloilo

Agriculture Secretary Francisco P. Tiu Laurel, Jr. presented agricultural interventions worth P909.68 million to rice producers and fisherfolk in Iloilo. 

This included cash aid through the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA) Program and the Fuel Assistance to Farmers Project, as well as financial grants to support market linkage and value-adding activities for various cooperatives and associations.



The ongoing success of the RFFA Program highlights the Philippine government’s commitment to supporting its agricultural sector and the smallholder rice producers who form its backbone. 

As more farmers avail of the support, it is hoped that this will not only mitigate the immediate challenges but also pave the way for more sustainable agricultural practices and enhanced economic security for farmers nationwide.

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