The Agricultural Training Institute in Central Luzon (ATI-CL) promoted the extension component of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) during the Agricultural Extension Workers’ Summit 2019 on October 2, 2019 at The Pavilion, Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center, City of Malolos, Bulacan.
With all AEWs across Bulacan as participants, Veronica Concepcion V. Esguerra, center director of ATI-CL, talked about the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL) and the rice extension services of ATI as one of the four major components of the RCEF.
“The objective of the program is to raise the level of competency of Filipino rice farmers, and let the program be of assistance to it. Let us not be discouraged in accepting new programs,” said Esguerra.
Other components of RCEF were also discussed by the concerned agencies. Mr. Arthur Dayrit from the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office III (DA-RFO III) discussed the new directions of the Department of Agriculture about the program and the registry system for basic sector in agriculture (RSBSA). In addition, Engr. Merlinda Teraldico from the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) shared about the mechanization component, rice farm machinery and equipment. Moreover, Dr. Flordeliza Bordey from the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) discussed the seed program, rice seed development, propagation, and promotion.
The RTL was promulgated to ensure food security and to make the country’s agriculture sector viable, efficient and globally competitive. Moreover, the RCEF was created to improve rice farmers’ competitiveness and income amidst liberalization of the Philippines’ rice trade policy that lifted quantitative restrictions on rice imports and replaced it with tariffs.
The said briefing is just the first of the series of technical briefings on RCEF across Central Luzon in 2019. With a total of 14 targets, the next one will be conducted in Nueva Ecija with farmers as participants. (JLJoaquin)