Save 20% off! Join our newsletter and get 20% off right away!
"Improving the market for agricultural products is ensured in the PRDP, " Sec. Alcala said.

Agri rehabilitation launched in Quezon province, Philippines

"Improving the market for agricultural products is ensured in the PRDP, " Sec. Alcala said.
“Improving the market for agricultural products is ensured in the PRDP, ” Sec. Alcala said.

LUCENA CITY, Philippines – After the launching activities in Sorsogon, Camarines Sur and Albay, Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Proceso J. Alcala led the ceremonial distribution of post-typhoon Glenda assistance to farmers and fishers under the department’s Agriculture Rehabilitation Program in Mulanay, Macalelon and Tayabas, Quezon on September 6, 2014.

Banana and coconut farmer Rowena P. Manalo, 43 of Sta. Rosa, Mulanay, Quezon said that up to now, they are still recovering from the onslaught of typhoon Glenda, which damaged their crops.

“With my husband’s meager income as tricycle driver, and two children to feed and send to school, life has been very difficult for us after the typhoon,” said Manalo, “but thanks to DA’s assistance, we can now have something to start on again.”

Vilma M. Dimaculangan, Regional Executive Director of DA Regional Field Office IV-A (DA-CALABARZON) said that the seeds and equipment given to the three local government units (LGUs) will be needed to replace what were lost after the typhoon, and help the farmers recover from the damages.

She urged the recipients to maximize, care for and share to other farmers and fishers the seed and equipment assistance they received.

“The distribution of the vegetable seeds, banana suckers and fruit tree seedlings will be useful in maintaining the green of Mulanay, as expressed in your tagline ‘Happy berde, Mulanay’,” she said to the Mulanay audience.

Among the assistance awarded to the three LGUs were cassava chipper, cassava grater, corn hammer mill, corn sheller, vermicast, hybrid yellow corn seeds, vegetable seeds, banana suckers, coffee and fruit tree seedlings, and urea fertilizer for the farmers; and plywood, nail and epoxy glue for the fisherfolk.


In recognition of the attendance of the farmers and fishers to the activity, which also served as forum with the Secretary, 10 units fishing boat engine, two motorized bancas, 50 gill nets, 50 training bags, five knapsack sprayer, 10 sets of spades and rakes, two units power sprayer, one hand tractor with trailer, 50 pieces drying nets, one unit rice reaper, two buffalo with plow and suyod, 20 piglets, and tilapia and carpa fingerlings for freshwater fishermen were raffled out.

Secretary Alcala said that the rice reaper will tested and DA will add more units if the proves to be useful.

Certificates of Award for the installation of flat-bed dryer and construction of palay shed were also given to farmers and fisherfolks associations. The first tranches of checks for the construction of P1.5M- and P3.170M-worth FMRs in Mulanay and Macalelon, respectively were also awarded to the local chief executives.

Mulanay Mayor Joselito “Tito” A. Ojeda thanked DA’s continuous assistance to the municipality.

“As instructed by Secretary Alcala, farm-to- market roads should be concrete. It is now being experienced by the 52,000 residents of Mulanay,” he said.

He added that the construction of the road to the oldest grave site in the Philippines with initial P20M funds from DA, and the P150M in the pipeline for the road to the “Long Beach” of Mulanay are indications of the strong support of DA to the farmers and fisherfolk of their town.

Municipal Mayor Nelson R. Trate of Macalelon and Acting City Mayor Wanda Saberona de Torres of Tayabas also expressed their gratitude to DA for the post-disaster support, saying that it is not usual for a cabinet secretary to visit small LGUs like them.

Secretary Alcala in his message encouraged farmers and fishers who have lost properties to typhoon to report to the municipal agricultural office for validation and assessment. With this, the office will not have to guess on the extent of damage or who the beneficiaries of rehabilitation programs should be.

“PNoy’s instruction is for me to visit typhoon victims and to focus on small fishers and farmers,” he said “but as farmers, you need to coordinate with your local agriculture office to help them assess damages and identify immediate needs.”

The Secretary has been doing rounds in the typhoon-stricken areas to listen to the plight of small farmers and fishers.

“We have done this similar activity in other parts of the country. We want to listen to voices from the grassroots—especially from small farmers and fishers,” he said.

In the open forum, Secretary Alcala stressed that site validation is necessary to assess needs on projects like FMRs or water impounding systems.

“Projects on construction and repair of FMRs or water impounding systems will be based on evaluation and point system-based prioritization of needs. Supply chain analysis is also used,” he said.

With regard to farm machineries, Secretary Alcala said that DA is willing to provide more farm machineries as long as this is based on validation to satisfy Commission on Audit requirements, or is really needed for expansion.

“Let us harmonize validation activities to save on resources and there is a need to actively involve barangays in the evaluation and identification of projects for transparency and accountability,” he said.

The agriculture chief added that after proper validation, DA can include the project funds under the 2015 regular budget or implemented under the Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP), an income-enhancing initiative for rural communities that will institutionalize several reforms introduced by the Aquino Administration in the agro-fisheries sector.

Secretary Alcala noted, however, that World Bank-funded PRDP also aims to monitor programs to link products to the market, not just provide livelihood and infrastructure to farmers and fishers.

“Improving the market for agricultural products is ensured in the PRDP. The Philippines is the first to implement PRDP, hence the rest of the countries will be looking at us as a model,” he said.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.