Together with the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office (DA-RFO) MiMaRoPa and other government agencies such as Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), the Agriculture Training Institute (ATI) in MiMaRoPa joins in celebrating the first anniversary of the Rice Tarrification Law (RTL) held on March 5, 2020 at ATI-RTC MiMaRoPa, CAFÉ Hall, Barcenaga, Naujan, Oriental Mindoro.
The RTL was first signed into law on February 14, 2019, creating the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), an annual Php 10 billion fund for six years with four main component programs (i.e. seed, mechanization, extension services and credit) which aims to improve Filipino rice farmers’ productivity and competitiveness.
In his welcome remarks, ATI-RTC MiMaRoPa Center Director Pat Andrew B. Barrientos challenged the agricultural extension workers (AEWs) to think of innovative ways in helping rice farmers in their localities. “If programs and services of Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Program (RCEP) will be delivered effectively, rice farmers will become competitive in terms of quality and cost of production”, he added.
During his message, DA-RFO MiMaRoPa Executive Director Antonio G. Gerundio expressed that RTL is intended to help rice farmers. “Kailangang magtulungan at gumawa ng stratehiya ang lahat ng ahensya na naatasang magpapatupad ng RCEP para mabigyan ng magandang serbisyo ang lahat ng magsasakang nagpapalayan”, he said.
Highlights of the event were testimonials from beneficiaries of various RCEF components and presentation of accomplishments or update reports of partner agencies for the year 2019.
The activity was attended by around 150 AEWs from different LGUs in Oriental Mindoro including the heads and representatives from various DA attached agencies and bureaus.