TAAL ERUPTION VICTIMS GET FUND AID
Four municipalities in the third district of Batangas received P54.4 million-worth of interventions from the Department of Agriculture (DA) last week for the recovery of the farmers and fisherfolk affected by the Taal Volcano eruption.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar, DA Calabarzon Regional Field Office (RFO) Director Arnel De Mesa, and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Director Sammy Malvas led the lake seeding of maliputo and ayungin fingerlings and the awarding of interventions in San Nicolas, Batangas.
“Marami pang iba’t ibang proyekto ang darating. Ang hinihiling ko lang po ay ipagpatuloy po natin ang ating pagsasaka at pangingisda. Iyon namang mga nagnenegosyo, dapat may puso at damdamin na tutulong din sa mga magsasaka at mangingisda,” Secretary Dar said during the event.
He also recognized the significant contribution of the farmers and fishers as the agriculture sector was the only economic sector that posted positive growth during the second quarter despite the ongoing pandemic.
“You are the front liners. You are the heroes in your own respective areas. In spite of the pandemic, you continued to do your farming, fishing, and agribusiness activities,” the agri chief said.
In connection with the rehabilitation efforts for those affected by the Taal Volcano eruption earlier this year, BFAR distributed 1,725 tilapia and bangus cages amounting to P44.725 million benefitting 924 fishers of San Nicolas and Laurel.
San Nicolas farmers also received P2.245-million worth of carabaos, feeds, vitamins, antibiotics, and wound sprays, while farmers from Laurel received certified seeds, fertilizers and other planting materials for rice and high-value crops amounting to P6 million from the RFO. Vacuum pack sealer, cassava grater, and 300 complete fertilizer bags amounting to P555,000 were also awarded to the farmers of Mataasnakahoy from the Corn Program.
In addition, the Philippine Coconut Authority awarded payment for incentives amounting to P888,000 for the Participatory Coconut Planting Project beneficiaries in Agoncillo, Batangas.
Batangas 3rd District Representative Ma. Theresa Collantes recognized the continued effort of DA to support the farmers and fisherfolk of the district during this difficult time.
For her part, Laurel Mayor Joan Amo expressed her gratitude on behalf of her constituents.
“Kami po ay lubos na nagpapasalamat sa lahat ng ayuda na itinulong ng DA sa bayan ng Laurel, gayun din sa lalawigan ng Batangas. Sa panahon po ng aming pagkakadapa, kami po ay inyong kinalinga. Kami po ay inyong inakay at patuloy na inaakay tungo sa ating pagbangon,” she said.
In January 2020, DA was one of the first government agencies that delivered needed services for those affected by the Taal Volcano eruption. President Duterte and Secretary Dar initially awarded P2.708-million worth of assistance including crop insurance, livelihood, seeds and seedlings, and farm machinery, among other donations to the affected farmers and fisherfolk of Talisay, Tanauan, and Sto. Tomas. This is in addition to the P160-million worth of interventions awarded to the agricultural communities of Agoncillo, San Nicolas, Lemery, Laurel, Lipa, San Jose, Nasugbu, Mataasnakahoy, Balete, Cuenca, Alitagtag, Padre Garcia, Malvar, and Taal.