Department of Agriculture to Give Aid to Typhoon-Hit Farmers to Regain Livelihoods
The Department of Agriculture is ready to help typhoon-hit farmers whose livelihoods have been severely affected by previous typhoons.
During the DA’s budget interpellation in the Senate on Friday, the senators asked the sponsor of the DA’s budget bill, Sen. Cynthia Villar on how the agency can help farmers affected by previous typhoons in Bicol and Cagayan Valley.
According to Villar, the DA will send heavy equipment to flooded areas to help clear the crops so that they can plant immediately, based on the report of ABS-CBN. The senator also mentioned that the DA has programs for rice and corn farmers.
She said Cagayan and Isabela are large provinces of rice and corn so farmers will definitely receive assistance. When Sen. Richard Gordon asked Villar to provide details on the assistance, ‘suspended the rules’ in the Senate to allow DA Sec. William Dar and answer the questions directly.
According to Dar, their regional offices are already conducting field validation with the help of local governments and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council to identify the plants that have been severely affected by the typhoons and find out which areas can now be reached.
There are flooded areas covered with topsoil from the mountains and that can be planted because it has a lot of nutrients, he said. But there are flooded areas covered with sand and other things that need to be removed.
Dar added that all affected farmers who have registered with the Philippine Crop Insurance System will be given P10,000 to P15,000. You can also borrow P25,000 with zero interest and payable in 10 years.
That is in addition to the fertilizers, fingerlings, and other agricultural inputs they will provide. He said they will help the farmers because now it is time to start planting rice.
Apart from rice farmers, there is also financial assistance for non-rice farmers such as abaca farmers in Catanduanes and other provinces. The DA and attached agencies have a proposed budget of P85.58 billion for 2021.
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