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P50M for abaca rehab in Catanduanes

VIRAC, Catanduanes --- The Department of Agriculture in Bicol awarded a P50M check to the Provincial Government of Catanduanes intended as cash for work for the rehabilitation of its typhoon-damaged abaca areas. DA Bicol Regional Executive Director Dr. Elena B. de los Santos personally turned over the check to Catanduanes Gov. Joseph C. Cua during the Project Briefing and Launching of the Rehabilitation of Typhoon-Damaged Abaca Areas in Catanduanes held in this province last February 8. Present during the projects launch were Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) Executive Director Kennedy Costales, PhilFIDA Region V OIC-Regional Director Mary Anne R. Molina, Congressional Representative Cesar V. Sarmiento, represented by Rudy M. Rojas Jr. and Virac Mayor Sammy V. Laynes, represented by Sangguniang Bayan Member Amador V. Abichuela attended the activity. Local chief executives of the municipalities covered by the Project including Caramoran Mayor Agnes B, Popa, San Miguel Mayor Francisco Camano, Pandan Mayor Raul Tabirara, Pangasinan Mayor Robert Fernandez, and Baras Mayor Chito S. Chi. PhilFIDA-supported abaca farmers also attended the event. The P50M Cash for Work program aims to rebuild the source of livelihood of 13,529 abaca farmers affected by Typhoon Nina and to plant or rehabilitate 15,034.06 hectares of abaca damaged by the same typhoon. Among the priority areas for validation are the abaca farmers who participated in the PhilFIDA-monitored, farmer-initiated Abaca Rehabilitation/Replanting Activity in 2017, disease-free abaca farms, canton areas and disease-infected abaca areas. The The project briefing and launching was capped by the ceremonial ssigning of the Memorandum of Agreement of the project stakeholders. President Rodrigo R. Duterte and DA Secretary Emmanuel F. Pinol pledged the amount when they visited the island province three days after typhoon Nina to help abaca farmers recoup their losses. Gov. Cua thanked the Department of Agriculture for its support to the long-anticipated rehabilitation project. Catanduanes, known as the Abaca Capital of the Philippines, accounts for 90 percent of the regional average abaca production with 22,755 metric tons. The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) reported that Catanduanes lost P1.4B worth of fiber and P42B is required for its rehabilitation after the devastation wrought by Typhoon Nina in December 2016. Annielyn L. Baleza, DA-RAFIS V

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