(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Wednesday, 21 February 2024) Easterlies affecting the eastern section of the country. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Easterlies / Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to Moderate winds coming from East to Northeast will prevail with Slight to Moderate seas (0.6 to 2.5 meters).


Tuesday, 13 February 2024

DA releases multi-purpose cash cards to farmers in Surigao City

By Susil Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga Field Operations Division, together with the city government of Surigao, recently distributed the intervention monitoring cards-Europay, MasterCard and Visa (IMC-EMV) to farmers in Surigao City. 

Around 400 farmers received the IMC-EMV through the Rice Farmers' Financial Assistance (RFFA) program under the Registry System for Basic Sector in Agriculture (RSBSA) of the Department of Agriculture.

The IMC-EMV, as a multi-purpose card, will serve as an identification and a cash card for farmers enrolled in the DA’s system and will also provide a timely and suitable way for farmers to benefit from the services of the government. 

Hazel Colinares, the DA Caraga and RSBSA regional focal person, said, “This card with e-wallet capability enables the farmers to conveniently access government interventions and other financial benefits under the Rice Tariffication Law.”

The farmers in Surigao City gathered at the venue to claim their individual cash cards. DA also informed the farmers that the cards already have a P5,000 available balance as cash assistance to help the farmers cope with operating costs due to the low-buying price of palay in the area. Photo courtesy of Surigao City PIO.

“With the IMC-EMV, RSBA-listed farmers can start using the P5,000 current balance in the card under the unconditional cash assistance,” Colinares added. 

Farmers can immediately purchase and pay their needed resources for their livelihood from the stores, as this works like an automatic teller machine (ATM) card at point-of-sale (POS)-enabled establishments, fund transfer through the use of the QR code, balance checking via a mobile app, and availing point discounts at various partner stores, among others.

Jenelyn R. Malig-on, one of the beneficiaries from Barangay Bonifacio, is thankful to the government for enjoining the farmers in this new technology and innovation.

"Dako gyud among kalipay nga dali na kaayo namo madawat ang tabang gikan sa gobyerno nga dili nami maglinya sa kaigang or ulan, og mag-pirma-pirma ug daghan nga pormas. Labi na karon nga ubos ang presyo sa humay, naa dayon sa ATM ang suporta sa gobyerno ug amo nalang ipakita ang cash card sa tindahan isip bayad. [We are so happy for allowing the farmers to experience new technology and innovation so we can quickly receive the assistance from the government, without the long queue while in hot or rainy weather, and we don’t have to fill out a lot of forms. Especially now that the price of rice is volatile, government assistance to farmers is already available in the ATM card and we can present this to a store as payment],” Malig-on shared.

This initiative is a commitment of the government to foster financial inclusivity among farmers, providing them with a tangible and convenient tool to access vital support and resources for the agricultural sector. (SDR/PIA- Surigao del Norte, with a report from Surigao City PIO)