The local government unit of Canlaon City has allocated a P1 million subsidy to its rice farmers as top-up to the palay buying price of the National Food Authority.
Benilda Fidel, NFA-Negros Oriental manager, said the check will be delivered to her office this Thursday so that procurement of palay from that upland city can commence at the earliest time.
More than 31,000 rice farmers in Canlaon City will benefit from this subsidy, given under the national government’s Palay Marketing Assistance for Legislators & Local Government Units (PALLGU).
The amount allocated cannot be specified or quantified for each farmer as the subsidy depends on the beneficiary’s volume of harvested rice, Fidel said.
Canlaon City is the 5th LGU in Negros Oriental to join the PALLGU.
For Canlaon City, the commitment of PP1 million is equivalent to 4,000 bags of palay or 200,000 kilos at P5 per kilo top up, Fidel said.
Aside from the LGU’s add-on, the national government also provides a P4 per kilo buying price incentive.
In all, for Canlaon City, the buying price of palay will be at P28 per kilo (P19 from NFA, P5 from the LGU, and P4 from the buying price incentive).
“We are coordinating with the Canlaon City agriculture office so they can inform us as soon as palay is ready so we can mobilize our people,” she said.
Aside from Canlaon City, other LGUs participating in the PALLGU are Bais City, Mabinay town, Guihulngan City, and Bayawan City, giving between P2 to P6 per kilo top-up.
A thankful Fidel said the Canlaon LGU subsidy comes at a time when the NFA needs to secure its buffer stock due to the El Niño phenomenon that is expected to enhance in the coming months.
A dry spell or drought, as forecast by the state weather bureau PAGASA for Negros Oriental, is seen to impact thousands of rice farmers in the province. (Judy F. Partlow/PNA)