Department of Agriculture (DA) Region IV-CALABARZON Regional Director Arnel V. de Mesa presented updates on the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2) stimulus package for the agriculture sector in the region, during the Management Committee meeting held in Tagaytay City, Cavite on October 27, 2020.
Under the stimulus package, Director de Mesa announced that the Department would act as the lead agency for implementing agricultural sector interventions prescribed by the Act, as well as providing assistance to the agri-fisheries industry, while ensuring food security and supply.
During his presentation, Director de Mesa stated that, under the Bayanihan 2, the national government had allocated a total of P24 billion to Philippine agriculture sector, which was divided into three projects. These projects include productivity enhancement projects (P8.710 billion), income enhancement projects (P8.790 billion), and social protection and social amelioration projects (P6.5 billion).
As of September 1, several provinces in CALABARZON were already included in the stimulus package with a P300-million allocation under Bayanihan 2 income enhancement projects. The municipality of Sariaya in Quezon is set to receive P100 million for the construction of trading centers. On the other hand, Ibaan and Tanauan City in Batangas are also set to receive P50 million each to develop the same project. Still under income enhancement projects, Tanauan City and San Jose were allotted P50 million each for the building of cutting facilities in the areas.
Aside from the aforementioned allocations, Director de Mesa presented other proposed projects for funding through the Bayanihan 2 stimulus package. These proposals include productivity enhancement projects for the Livestock Program, the High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP), and Research Division. In addition, the regional office also aims to have additional allocations for HVCDP under the income enhancement projects.
Director de Mesa is very hopeful that national government will grant a green light to these proposed projects. He said there is no room for error in the tendering of these projects because, unless the Act is extended, all the funds under the stimulus package will expire by December 19 this year in conjunction with the adjournment of the Congress.
“We will not only be strengthened as an organization by these projects. The approval of these proposals will be of considerable assistance to our farmers and fishermen across the region in need of further support and interventions,” Director de Mesa said.
Director de Mesa also requested that all necessary documents be prepared immediately during the week in order to start pre-procurement of these projects by next week. ● (MAP, DA-RAFIS)