By Stephanie Sevillano

ASSISTANCE. Agriculture Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa says around PHP510.447 in fuel subsidy will be distributed to crop, livestock, and poultry farmers who own or rent machinery for production. In an interview on Monday (July 8, 2024), he said around 160,000 farmers nationwide are expected to benefit from the cash assistance. (PNA photo by Ben Briones)

MANILA – A Department of Agriculture (DA) official said Monday it will roll out around PHP510.447 in fuel subsidies to crop, livestock, and poultry farmers who own or rent machinery.

“That’s about PHP510 million, so at PHP3,000 plus other mga gastusin, about 160,000 farmers iyong makikinabang dito (plus other expenses, about 160,000 farmers will benefit) for this fuel assistance,” DA Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa said in an interview.

He said farmers in the Registry System for Basic Sectors of Agriculture will receive the fuel subsidy from August to September through assistance cards from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).

De Mesa said the distribution will be implemented once the average monthly price of Dubai crude oil reaches USD80 per barrel price, by the requirement set under the 2024 General Appropriations Act.

Kapag na-reach iyon ang estimate ay within the month, ma-reach iyon within July, August, ready naman nang i-implement iyong (If that’s reached, which is estimated to be within the month, if that’s reached within July, August, we are ready to implement the) guidelines,” he said.

According to the DA, market data indicated a consistent excess of USD80 per barrel price from June 3 to July 1, with prices ranging from USD78.48 and USD86.50 per barrel.

Earlier, Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. underscored the need to support local farmers to ensure the advancement of food security targets in the country.

“This is just one of the several assistance projects that the Marcos administration provides to ease the burden of our farmers, the unsung heroes of our economy and the main pillar of our food security goal,” he said in a separate statement. (PNA)