CITY OF MALOLOS- Bulakenyo and Kapampangan farmers and fisherfolks received livelihood assistance and machineries from the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR3) through the Provincial Government of Bulacan and Pampanga during “Ahon Lahat, Pagkain Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra COVID-19” program held in its provinces on Tuesday.
According to DA Secretary Dr. William D. Dar, their office will concentrate on those areas wherein farm machineries were already distributed by the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech) to see the effect of the reform and persuaded the farmers to join or form farmer cooperatives to receive aids from the government that will be distributed through that mechanism.
“Madami nang reporma ang naumpisahan natin at itutuloy pa natin. Sa lahat ng farmers cooperative and associations, we would like you to be transformed not only to be productive but also to be involved in the marketing of the palay or even to dry and mill at ang ibenta po ninyo sa merkado ay bigas,” the agriculture secretary said.
Sec. Dar also awarded the Provincial Government of Bulacan with its sixth Rice Achievers Award and a ceremonial cheque worth P4 million which the governor together with Provincial Agriculturist Ma. Gloria SF. Carrillo has received.
Dar expressed his delight over the immediate mobilization of assistance and support to fisherfolk and farmers alike. Through the “ Ahon Lahat, Pagkain Sapat” (ALPAS) program, small-scale food producers that were heavily affected by the pandemic can recover from and respond to the threat of hunger for a better and food secure post-COVID-19 future.
He also mentioned that for the year 2020 alone, the DA had awarded the Province of Bulacan with a total of P960.5 million worth of projects and programs.
For his part, Governor Daniel Fernando highlighted that the economy is equally important with the health system that is why it is the government’s duty to retain the strength of the foundation of the society.
“Napatunayan, lalo ngayon, ang kahalagahan ng pagsasaka at pangingisda sa ating lipunan. Maraming industriya ang nagsarado, maraming negosyo ang hindi nakapagbukas, subalit dahil sa mga magsasaka at mangingisda ay hindi tayo nagutom. Malaki ang utang natin sa kanila. Ang pagbibigay sa kanila ay parang pagsasalamat lamang sa walang pagod na pagta-trabaho para masiguro na may pagkain sa ating mga hapag,” the governor said.
Six units of four-wheel drive tractor, six units of combine harvester, 27 units of shallow tube well, two units of recirculating dryer, two units of mobile flash dryer, and four units of warehouse worth P36,404,726.32 were distributed to Bulakenyo farmers under the Department of Agriculture’s Rice Mechanization Program: Provision of Agricultural Production, Postharvest and Processing Machinery and Equipment.
Also, five units of shallow tube well and one unit of corn husker sheller worth P528,738.00 under DA’s Corn Mechanization Program: Provision of Agricultural Production, Postharvest and Processing Machinery and Equipment were disseminated to the beneficiaries.
BFAR Central Luzon headed by Regional Director Wilfredo Cruz provided almost 22 million pesos worth of livelihood intervention to identified beneficiaries in the municipalities of Malolos, Angat, Bocaue, Bulakan, Calumpit, Guiguinto, Hagonoy, Marilao, Meycauayan, Obando, Paombong and San Miguel.
The provisions are in the form of fishing gears, post-harvest equipment, technology-demonstration and enhanced aquaculture projects, milkfish fry and tilapia fingerlings as input assistance and stock enhancement and fish production support.
BFAR, through the said livelihood assistance distribution to Bulakenyos’ fisherfolks and farm machineries to farmers in support to “ALPAS Kontra COVID-19” gave their 51 million pieces of milkfish fry; 700,000 pieces of sex reversal tilapia fingerlings, 300,000 pieces mixed sex tilapia fingerlings, and 300,000 pieces saline tilapia fingerlings; one unit of aquaponics, one unit of floating solar venturi aeration system as innovation to small scale pond culture, and one unit of tilapia hatchery artificial incubation system; one unit of tilapia culture with nursery operation, two units of hatchery-reared milkfish nursery in earthen pond and one unit of 75 days P. Vannamei culture in BW pond; and 18 fish vending equipment, one elevated solar dryer, two fish smoke house, 80 sets of portable solar lamp, 10 12.0HP marine engine, 18 7.5HP marine engine, 67 multifilament net, 80 gillnets and 25 cast net to the Province of Bulacan.
From Bulacan, the awarding moved on to distribute the same provisions in another program conducted in the Bren Z. Guiao Gymnasium in Pampanga wherein Secretary Dar personally handed over the certificates of award to beneficiaries from the remaining provinces of Central Luzon.
The local government continues to partner with DA-BFAR to mitigate the effects of the lockdown and prove that all is not lost due to the pandemic wherein local government officials in Bulacan and Pampanga provided all-out support in the conduct of the twin activities.
IN PHOTO: Six-time Rice Achiever AWARDEE Governor Daniel R. Fernando shows the certificate handed over by Department of Agriculture Secretary Dr. William D. Dar recognizing the Province of Bulacan as an Outstanding Province in the 2019 Rice Achievers Award for being an outstanding management of programs and projects about farming and utilization of high-quality seeds while DA Regional Executive Director Crispulo G. Bautista, Jr. and Provincial Agriculturist Ma. Gloria SF. Carrillo holds the ceremonial cheque worth P4 million during the Ahon Lahat, Pagkain Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra COVID-19Distribution of Livelihood Assistance to Fisherfolks and Farm Machineries to Farmers held at the Bulacan Capitol Gymnasium, City of Malolos, Bulacan on Tuesday. Also in the photo is Agricultural Training Institute Center Director Veronica C. Esguerra (right). (Photo courtesy to PPAO)