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To intensify the mitigation and adaptation measures set by the Department of Agriculture in order to soften the impact of Taal Volcano eruption on agriculture, a coordination meeting cum workshop was conducted on February 4, 2020 with the provincial, city, and municipal agriculturists of affected areas in the region.

“In the midst of all these challenges (referring to the calamities that hit the region), the most important thing for us to do is unite as one. Together, we are stronger. And together, we will do better,” Regional Director Arnel V. de Mesa said.

After the presentation and review of short-, intermediate-, and long-term plans of the Department for the recovery and rehabilitation of agriculture, the participants undergone a workshop to assess needed interventions in their respective localities which can be supported by the ₱357M Quick Response Fund allotted by the Department.

The said fund shall provide for the provisions of seeds (₱33.7M), planting materials (₱45.4M), fertilizer/soil ameliorants (₱181.5M), supplements/drugs and biologics (₱19.7M); rehabilitation of processing facility (₱3M); and re-stocking of animals (₱74.1M).

According to Director de Mesa, additional fund was also requested for the procurement of various farm machinery/equipment to fully support the rehabilitation efforts in the region.

The activity also served as a good venue for the Department of Agriculture Region IV-CALABARZON to consolidate and update damage reports of the affected cities/municipalities and the list of affected farmers.

Director de Mesa noted the damage reports consolidated will be validated by the regional office and will serve as basis for the prioritization and distribution of interventions to the affected farmers.

Among the local government units represented were Silang, Amadeo, Magallanes, Mendez, Indang, Alfonso, Tagaytay City, and Dasmariñas, Cavite; Laurel, Calaca, Balete, Cuenca, Malvar, Mataas na Kahoy, San Jose, Tanauan City, and Lipa City, Batangas; and Calamba City and San Pablo City, Laguna. ● (RFL, DA-RAFIS)