Sunday Jul, 12 2020 04:07:14 AM

Duterte wants close monitoring of agri projects

GOVERNANCE/POLITICS • 18:45 PM Sat Jan 11, 2020
John M. Unson
President Rodrigo Duterte was accompanied to Pigcawayan by members of his cabinet. (Contributed)

NORTH COTABATO – President Duterte on Friday said projects for farmers need periodic monitoring and follow-through interventions to surely improve the lives of beneficiaries.

Duterte, who was in North Cotabato’s Pigcawayan town Friday, told local officials and representatives from the provincial agriculture sector that corruption and poor government services condone the dire situation of farmers in far-flung areas.

“The problem with the previous administration was they just extended help to farmers and nothing else, no monitoring, no help after, no after delivery services that is why the agriculture sector failed to take off,” President Duterte said in a message while in Pigcawayan.

He was in Pigcawayan, home to mixed Muslim and Christian residents mostly relying mainly on farming to sustain their families, to lead the distribution of P58 million worth of agricultural equipment and other technical support packages to farming communities in Region 12.

Region 12 covers North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani provinces and the cities of Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and General Santos.

Friday’s activity of Duterte in Pigcawayan was jointly facilitated by North Cotabato Gov. Nancy Catamco, the office of Agriculture Secretary William Dar and the Mindanao Development Authority under Emmanuel Piñol, a former governor of the province.

The farming equipment that the president distributed to different peasant blocs from across Region 12 was comprised of six 4X4 farm tractors, rice harvesters and hand tractors.

Catamco, Piñol and Dar agreed to cooperate on projects for North Cotabato’s agriculture sector in a meeting just before Duterte’s engagement with farmers and local officials in Pigcawayan.

During the dialogue, Dar immediately committed support for the setting up of post harvest facilities and distribution of more tractors and other agricultural equipment to farmers in North Cotabato as recommended by the first-termer Catamco, elected to office only last May 2019.

Catamco also urged Dar to focus on the improvement and possible expansion of existing communal irrigation facilities in North Cotabato that covers 17 towns and more than 40 barangays in its capital, Kidapawan City.

“It is important to support our farmers because the province is an agricultural area and only by empowering them can we have a strong local economy,” Catamco told Dar and Piñol during their meeting while waiting for Duterte’s arrival in the town proper of Pigcawayan.

Dar and Piñol both assured Catamco of their support for her development thrusts for North Cotabato’s agriculture sector that includes groups of Muslim farmers whose barangays are covered by the peace process between Malacañang and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front aiming to restore normalcy in areas devastated by decades of secessionist strife. 


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