The post-typhoon rehabilitation effort and assistance program to affected over 86,000 affected farmers in three provinces of the Bicol Region is under way.
The Department of Agriculture regional office in Pili, Camarines Sur announced it has started distributing palay, corn and assorted vegetable seeds and seedling of various fruit trees.
Also included in the assistance package worth over P720-million are drugs and biologics for animals, reported DA-Bicol regional executive director Dr. Elena B. delos Santos during a management committee meeting here.
The three provinces covered are Albay, Camarines Sur and Catanduanes.
The provincial and municipal LGUS are in charge of distributing directly to the affected farmers, de los Santos said.
Groups and individual farmers requesting for assistance directly from the DA regional office are also provided if they are in the master list prepared by the LGUS, delos Santos said.
For Camarines Sur, the DA has turned over to the provincial government over 5,000 bags of certified seeds; 4,226 packs (20 kg.) of hybrid palay seeds; 19,770 packets of assorted vegetable seeds; 250 kilograms mungbean seeds, 1,500 bags of yellow and white corn hybrid seeds; 1,085 cacao, lemon and pili seedlings and 13,942 doses of drugs and biologics for animals. There are 10,000 bags of certified seeds for delivery, delos Santos said.
For Albay, the DA has turned over to the provincial government 5,000 bags of certified palay seeds; 5,000 packs of hybrid palay seeds; 1,000 bags of yellow and white corn seeds; 10,600 grafted cacao and pili seedlings; 12,500 packets of assorted vegetable seeds; and 2,500 assorted garden tools.
There is a scheduled delivery next week, delos Santos said, of 435 bags of open pollinated variety and hybrid seeds.
For Catanduanes, the DA has distributed 3,000 bags of certified palay seeds; 12,500 packs of assorted vegetable seeds; and 17 bottles and/or boxes of various drugs and biologics for the treatment of affected animals.
De los Santos has endorsed to Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol a proposal made by PhilFida for the rehabilitation of typhoon-damaged abaca areas in Catanduanes.
She said the proposal is now being considered for funding under the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) since abaca is one of the priority products being promoted under the Catanduanes Priority Commodity Investment Plan to be funded by the project.
Delos Santos said the rehabilitation effort of DA-Bicol is only the start of a greater assistance program that the DA will provide.
Funding for the initial assistance was taken from the savings generated by the regional office from previous calamity funds, which were released by the Budget Department only recently.
President Rodrigo Duterte also committed P500-million in assistance from the national government after visiting the typhoon-hit areas recently.
DA Bicol has already submitted to Sec. Piñol its Rehabilitation Plan for the rice, corn high value commercial crops, livestock and abaca subsectors including various infrastructures and facilities totaling over P1.4Billiion.
Official estimate placed the typhoon damage at P5.1 Billion and the number of affected farmers at 86,735. (DA)