Gov’t has enough money for RCEF, says Piñol
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said there is no truth to the report that government does not have the money for the P10-billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) programmed for release this year following the passage of the Rice Tariffication Law.
Piñol said the RCEF is included in the budget of the Department of Agriculture (DA) for this year and while it is categorized as “unprogrammed” expenditure initially, it will now be automatically funded with the signing of the Rice Tariffication Law’s Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR).
“Besides the P10-billion RCEF is in the Rice Tariffication Law and there is simply no way that it will not be provided by government. It is unfortunate that the statement of NEDA [National Economic and Development Authority] Assistant Secretary Mercedita Sombilla was slanted in such a way that it was misinterpreted to mean that there is no money for RCEF,” Piñol said.
“What she said actually was that the funds may be released by the third quarter of this year. That would be a little over two months from now and just in time for the Dry Season Planting which starts October,” he added.
As the official solely responsible for supervising the utilization of the RCEF, Piñol assured the Filipino rice farmers that the interventions covered by the RCEF will be delivered as soon as the funds are released.