PRRD vows more aid for Region 12 farmers

President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday assured farmers in Region 12 (Soccsksargen) and others parts of the country that the administration will implement after delivery services to farmer-beneficiaries as part of the government's interventions for the agricultural sector.

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 vernacular in a speech here Friday afternoon.

Farmers' organizations across the Soccsksargen region have received PHP58 million worth of agricultural intervention during turnover ceremonies here presided by the President, who was assisted by Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

The President 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."

Farmers in Sultan Kudarat got the biggest share in the PHP58 million assistance with PHP19.4 million for pre- and post-harvest equipment and fertilizers, followed by North Cotabato farmers with PHP16.8 million, while South Cotabato obtained PHP11.7 million, and Sarangani with PHP10.1 million worth of various agricultural assistance.

During ceremonial turn-over, Department of Agriculture-Region 12 Executive Director Mila Casis said the President handed over six units of four- wheel drive mini-tractors, five rice combine harvesters, and 27 hand tractors.

President Duterte, who was assisted by Senator Lawrence Bong Go, also distributed fertilizers and other farm inputs as well as PHP5,000 cash cards to 100 rice farmers from the town of Libungan, North Cotabato.

President Duterte was supposed to distribute the farm assistance during the November 16, 2019 "Pulong-Pulong" with farmers in Region 12, but the Chief Executive failed to attend.

Instead, Dar and Mindanao Development Authority Chairman Emmanuel PiAol met with the farmers on behalf of the President in the November 16 gathering.

President Duterte apologized for his failure to show up last November, saying there were other problems he had to attend to, such as the water issues in Manila.

The president said he has directed Dar to ensure that after services will be given to the 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 the palay of the Filipino farmers.

Source: Philippines News Agency