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IN PHOTOS: Regional Director Arnel V. de Mesa met with Agricultural Credit Policy Council-Program Monitoring and Information Systems Management Staff Director Ma. Cristina G. Lopez and Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation Regional Manager Marissa F. Agudera on February 3, 2020, to discuss specific mechanics on the implementation of a new cash assistance program for small farmers and fisherfolk affected by Taal Volcano eruption and who need to take a break from tending their farm animals for the time being.

The said program aims to save livestock (i.e., small and big ruminants, horses) from being sold to unscrupulous traders at very low price, preserve the local livestock genetics integrity in the affected areas, and ensure that the livestock-based livelihood and enterprises of small farmers can be re-established and recovered when the situation normalizes.

According to Director de Mesa, the local government units, through their respective city or municipal agriculture offices in coordination with their provincial agriculturists, will play a very important role for the smooth implementation of this program.

That said, a coordination meeting with them will be held on February 4, 2020, to present the initial guidelines and to discuss their significant role to realize the objectives of the program. ● (RFL, DA-RAFIS)