In light of the declaration of a State of Public Health Emergency and a State of Calamity throughout the Philippines due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), on 16 April 2020, released P8,500,000,000 to cover the funding requirements for the Rice Resiliency Project (RRP) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) under the Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra COVID-19 Program.
According to the DA, the RRP, which is expected to benefit around 3 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 (3) sub-projects:
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; and
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 released 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”.
Additional specific details regarding the RRP and the ALPAS Kontra COVID-19 Program may be best provided by the DA.