Department of Agriculture (DA) Region IV-CALABARZON Regional Director (RD) Arnel V. de Mesa explained the regional office’s ongoing programs and projects for African Swine Fever (ASF)-affected hog raisers and typhoon-affected farmers and fishers in CALABARZON on November 20, 2020.
RD de Mesa explained in a radio interview with the Philippine Information Agency-CALABARZON that the regional office continues to assist ASF-affected pig growers and typhoon-affected farmers and fishers by providing alternative livelihood assistance and indemnification to ASF-affected farmers and by allocating the Quick Response Fund (QRF) to typhoon-ravaged farmers and fishers.
For ASF, RD de Mesa said that backyard farmers whose pig farms have been infected with the deadly virus are expected to receive P5,000 per pig during depopulation as compensation. Aside from that, the regional office also provides alternative livelihood sources such as cows, cattle, goats, chickens, or mushroom production packages. RD de Mesa noted that all of these interventions are well-coordinated in order to be transferred to local government units through the provincial, city, and municipal agriculturists.
On the other hand, RD de Mesa said the QRF allocation includes seeds, fertilizers, seedlings, assorted vegetable seeds, and livestock interventions for typhoon-affected farmers and fishers. Aside from that, they can also receive insurance claims from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation worth P10,000 to P15,000 as long as they are registered in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture. Moreover, typhoon-ravaged farmers and fishers can also benefit from DA-Agricultural Credit Policy Council’s Survival and Recovery Aid loan worth P25,000 that is payable for 10 years without any collateral or interest.
The recently concluded launching of the Cash and Food Subsidy for Marginal Farmers and Fishers Program (CFSMFFP) that was attended by Secretary William D. Dar in Tayabas City, Quezon on November 23, 2020, was also announced by RD de Mesa. The CFSMFFP is part of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act 2 by the national government which aims to give assistance to corn, coconut, and sugarcane farmers; fishers; and indigenous people in the Philippines wherein eligible farmers and fishers received P3,000 cash and P2,000 worth of rice, eggs, and chicken.
Despite the significant impact of the ASF infestation and recent typhoons on the food supply, RD de Mesa ensured that supply would definitely be brought back to life because of the continued interventions by the Department and the untiring efforts of farmers and fishers in CALABARZON.
“On behalf of Secretary William Dar, I would like to thank our farmers for their resilience and commitment to the adversaries they face, including the recent typhoons and the current pandemic. The agriculture sector, with its hard work, was the only sector with positive growth of 1.6 percent and 1.2 percent during the second and third quarter of the year, respectively. This goes to show that our farmers and fishers are the real heroes during these trying times,” RD de Mesa said.
RD de Mesa stated before the end of the interview that they will continue to support farmers and fishers in the region. He said that they will give a strong focus on every commodity in order to strengthen food production and sufficiency not only for CALABARZON, but for the rest of the Philippines. (MAP, DA-RAFIS)