Saturday Jan, 18 2020 08:47:02 PM

PRRD vows more help to farmers in Region 12

AGRICULTURE • 20:30 PM Fri Jan 10, 2020
Edwin O. Fernandez
President Duterte stresses a point during his speech after the distribution of agricultural intervention to farmers in the Soccsksargen region held at the town gymnasium of Pigcawayan, North Cotabato on Jan. 10, 2020. (Photo grab from PCOO live coverage)

PIGCAWAYAN, North Cotabato  – President Rodrigo Duterte today assured farmers in the Soccsksargen region and in the country that his administration will have “after delivery services” to farmer beneficiaries of agricultural intervention.

“The problem with 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 vernacular in a speech here Friday afternoon.

Farmers’ organizations across the Soccsksargen region have received P58 million worth of agricultural intervention during turnover ceremonies here presided over by Pres. Duterte and Agriculture Sec. William Dar.

He likened the country’s agriculture sector to an airplane that had been taxiing the runway for so long and failed to take off.  “You know why, that is because of corruption,” he said.

“The farmers were left of their own, the equipment have short lifetime, the equipment could no longer be used because of low quality,” he said.

Farmers in Sultan Kudarat have the biggest share in the P58-M assistance with P19.4 million pre and post-harvest equipment and fertilizers followed by North Cotabato farmers with P16.8-million while South Cotabato have P11.7-M worth and Sarangani with P10.1-M various agricultural assistance.

Engr. Mila Casis, Department of Agriculture (DA-12) regional executive director, said during ceremonial turn over, the President handed over six mini-four wheel drive tractors, five rice combine harvesters, 27 hand tractors.

Assisted by Sen. Lawrence Bong Go and Sec. Dar, the President also distributed fertilizers and other farm inputs as well as P5,000 cash cards to 100 rice farmers from the town of Libungan, North Cotabato.

President Duterte was supposed to distribute these farm assistance during the Nov. 16, 2019 Pulong-Pulong with farmers in Region 12.  However, the President did not make it.

Dar and Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) chair Sec. Emmanuel Pinol met the farmers in behalf of the President in the Nov. 16 gathering.

Pres. Duterte apologized for his failure to show up last November saying there were other problems he had to attend to like the water issues in the capital.

The president said he has directed Sec. Dar to ensure that “after services” will be given to farmer-beneficiaries to sustain the agricultural intervention, something that previous administration failed to do.

He said rice importation will be halted when harvest season begins so the government can procure palay of Filipino farmers. 

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