Department of Agriculture (DA), in partnership with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), launched the Cash and Food Subsidy for Marginal Farmers and Fishers Program (CFSMFFP) in Brgy. Mayuwi, Tayabas City, Quezon on November 23, 2020.
It was led by Secretary William D. Dar, DBP President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Emmanuel G. Herbosa, DA CALABARZON Regional Director Arnel V. de Mesa, Quezon Provincial Governor Danilo E. Suarez, 1st District of Quezon Representative Cong. Wilfredo Mark M. Enverga, and 4th District of Quezon Representative Cong. Angelina “Dok Helen” DL. Tan.
According to Dir. de Mesa, more than 81,000 farmers and fishers in CALABARZON are set to benefit from the CFSMFFP.
DA-Field Operations Service Director, Engr. Roy M. Abaya, explained that in order for the beneficiaries to claim this assistance from DA, they must present their transaction code to any MLhuillier branch and their voucher code to any DA-recognized supplier together with one government-issued ID or barangay certificate. Engr. Abaya also noted that farmers and fishers must be listed in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture to qualify for this program.
Engr. Abaya said that the CFSMFFP is part of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act 2 by the national government which aims to give assistance to 890,794 corn, coconut, and sugarcane farmers; fishers; and indigenous people in the Philippines. Mr. Abaya noted that the said subsidy per eligible farmer and fisher includes P3,000 cash and P2,000 worth of rice, eggs, and chicken.
In his speech, Secretary Dar proudly acknowledged the hard work and commitment of farmers and fishers in CALABARZON for their outstanding contribution to the Philippine economy.
“Our farmers and fishers are the greatest heroes of today and you deserve a big round of applause. Despite the pandemic, you continuously work hard and it eventually paid off. The agriculture sector is the only sector in the Philippines to pose a positive growth of 1.6 percent in the second quarter followed by another 1.2 percent increase in the third quarter (this year), making the sector one of the strongest pillars of our country’s economy. With this growth, we are requesting additional budget to be used for programs and projects by DA, like the CFSMFFP, that will significantly help the farmers and fishers improve their production in order for us to achieve a food-secure Philippines,” Sec. Dar said.
DBP president and CEO Herbosa said that he is grateful for being part of the noteworthy and timely advocacy of DA as the disbursement and settlement bank for the CFSMFFP and other programs and projects of the Department. According to Mr. Herbosa, the DBP believes that the agriculture sector is the key for the Philippine economy to get back on track amidst all the adversaries brought by the recent typhoons and the current pandemic.
“Makakaasa po kayo na hindi namin sasayangin ang pagkakataon at aming pagbubutihin ang paglilingkod sa inyong lahat. Sa pagkakataon pong ito, kabalikat po ng DBP ang Kagawaran ng Pagsasaka sa pagpapatupad ng mga hanangarin sa ilalim ng CFSMFFP at iba pang programa ng DA upang mabigyan ng karampatang suportang pinansyal ang ating mga masisipag na magsasaka at mangingisda,” Mr. Herbosa said.
Governor Suarez said that this launching of the CFSMFFP is a celebration of honoring the farmers and fishers of Quezon.
“Concentrate on where you are good at because the local government and the national government always got your back in providing support to achieve higher production yield and income. Together with DA, we are always here to help improve the lives of our farmers and fishers in Quezon,” Mr. Suarez said.
Meanwhile, Cong. Enverga honored all the farmers and fishers who attended the ceremonial launching of the CFSMFFP. He thanked all the participants who spent hours on the road just to be part of the said event.
“Kayo po ang tunay na mga bida sa programang ito sapagkat kayo ang mga nagsisikap at nagtitiyaga sa kabila ng nararanasan nating pandemya upang magarantiya na may pagkain sa bawat hapag-kainan ng bawat Pilipino. Mahaba pa ang ating tatahaking daan tungo sa mas maunlad na sektor ng agrikultura ngunit naniniwala po ako na tayo ay nasa tamang landas tungo sa mas masaganang ani at mas mataas na kita para sa ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda,” Cong. Enverga said.
Cong. Tan expressed her gratitude for the DA’s continued support for Quezon farmers and fishers, especially for those whose livelihoods were severely damaged by the recent typhoons that hit the province.
“Siksik, liglig, at umaapaw ang mga tulong at programa ng DA katuwang ang iba pang ahensya ng gobyerno upang masiguro na walang sinuman ang maiiwang nakalugmok, at matiyak na ang lahat ay sama-samang babangon tungo sa mas maulad na sektor ng agrikultura sa Quezon. Sana po ay hindi rito matapos ang biyayang ipinagkakaloob ninyo sa ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda. Kaisa po ninyo ang bawat representante sa bawat distrito ng Quezon upang kayo ay makabangon matapos ang delubyong dulot ng mga nagdaang bagyo,” Cong. Tan said.
Ms. Remedios Ella, a member of the Corn Growers’ Association of Tayabas City, expressed her utmost gratitude for the cash and food assistance that they received from DA.
“Lubos po ang aking pasasalamat sa DA sa handog po nilang tulong para sa aming mga magsasaka. Wala po kaming halos kinita nang magsimula ang pandemya at labis naman po kaming naapektuhan ng mga nagdaang bagyo kung kaya’t napakalaki po ang maitutulong sa amin ng cash and food subsidy na ito mula sa DA,” Ms. Ella said.
In conjunction with the CFSMFFP, the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization conducted a ceremonial turnover of farm machinery under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund for Quezon farmers worth P304 million.
Subsequently, DA-Agricultural Credit Policy Council conducted a turnover and release of loan assistance to qualified beneficiaries in the province.
Aside from the regional office, DA-attached agencies including the Sugar Regulatory Administration, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, the Philippine Coconut Authority, and the National Commission on Indigenous People also took part in the said program. (MAP, DA-RAFIS)
[Photos courtesy of Mr. Gian Luage of DA-AFID and Yuriel Ramilo of DA-RAFIS]