LEGAZPI CITY, Feb. 3 (PNA)-–The Department of Agriculture (DA) in Bicol has started distributing palay, corn, assorted vegetable seeds, seedlings of various fruit trees; and medicines for animals amounting to over PHP72 million as part of its initial rehabilitation assistance to the three provinces of Albay, Catanduanes and Camarines Sur, which were hit hardest by typhoon Nina last December.
DA-Bicol Executive Director Dr. Elena B. de los Santos said the “production input assistance” is the initial rehabilitation support being provided by DA.
"Funding for these items were taken from the savings generated by the regional office from previous calamity funds which were released by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) only recently," she said.
Emilyn Bordado, DA information officer, said more help will come to the affected farmers and fisherfolk with the expected release of the PHP500 million which was a commitment of President Rodrigo Duterte himself when he came over to Catanduanes and Camarines Sur a few days after typhoon Nina struck on Christmas Day.
She said DA-Bicol has already submitted to Piñol its rehabilitation plan for the rice, corn and high-value commercial crops; livestock and abaca subsectors; and various infrastructures and facilities which would require over PHP1.4 billion.
“The final damage report on the said subsectors has been placed at PHP5.1 billion with about 86,735 farmers affected,” she added.
Delos Santos said the local government units (LGUs) in the affected provinces and municipalities will be the ones distributing directly to the farmers the PHP72-million worth of production inputs.
She said in Camarines Sur, DA has turned over 5,000 bags of certified seeds; 4,226 packs, at 20 kilograms each, of hybrid palay seeds; 19,770 packets of assorted vegetable seeds; 250 kgs of 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” (drugs derived from biological sources) for animals.
“Scheduled for delivery are 10,000 bags of certified seeds,” said Delos Santos.
In Albay, DA-Bicol has turned over to the provincial government 5,000 bags of certified palay seeds; 5,000 packs hybrid palay seeds; 1,000 bags 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.
Delos Santos said set for delivery to the province are 435 bags of open pollinated and hybrid corn seeds while 435 bags of open pollinated variety and hybrid seeds will be delivered next week.
In Catanduanes, DA-Bicol has distributed 3,000 bags of certified palay seeds; 12,500 packs of assorted vegetable seeds; 17 bottles/boxes of various drugs and biologics for the treatment of affected animals.
Bordado said groups and individual farmers making direct requests from DA-Bicol have also allotments for as long as they are in the masterlist provided by the LGUS.
De los Santos said DA-Bicol has endorsed to DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol the Fiber Industry Development Authority or PhilFida’s proposal to rehabilitate the typhoon-damaged abaca areas in Catanduanes.
“The proposal is now being considered to be funded under the Philippine Rural Development Project or PRDP as abaca is among the identified priorities in Catanduanes’ ‘priority commodity investment plan.’” she said. (PNA) FPV/GVR/CONNIE B. DESTURA/