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Catanduanes acquires grant for abaca farming

By Edna Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes --- The Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU) of Catanduanes received a check amounting to P4.5 million from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for Abaca Farmers Associations in the province during a turnover ceremony held on August 17, at the governor’s office.

The grant was part of DOLE’s project “Provision of Mechanized and Modified Stripping Machines and other Paraphernalia for the Enhancement of Abaca Fiber Production” under its DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP).

DILP or the Kabuhayan Program of DOLE is a flagship program of the agency that aims to help marginalized groups such as self-employed workers who are unable to earn sufficient income. This is aims to assist unpaid family workers, low-waged and seasonal workers, workers displaced or to be displaced, marginalized and landless farmers, marginalized fisher-folks, women and youth, persons with disability, senior citizens, indigenous peoples, victims of armed conflicts, rebel returnees, and parents of child laborers.

With the said amount, DOLE aims to modernize the abaca industry in Catanduanes and produce world-class quality fiber. The grant will be divided amongst six abaca farmers associations in Catanduanes: Sto. Niño Abaca Farmers Association (Virac) - P497,980.00; Genitligan Abaca Farmers Association (Baras) - P492,380.00; Bayanihan Abaca Farmers Association (Caramoran) - P494,620.00; Salvacion Abaca Farmers Association (Bagamanoc) - P999,992.00; San Miguel Abaca Farmers and Traders Association (Panganiban) - P999,992.00; and SLP Tariwara Agricultural Farmers Livelihood Association (Pandan) - P999,992.00.

PIA5/Catanduanes: Representatives of Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) turnover a check amounting P4.5 million to the Provincial Local Government Unit of Catanduanes as grant for Abaca farmers during a turnover ceremony on August 17, 2023 at the Governor’s Office. (EABagadiong)

PBM Rafael Zuniega who represented Governor Joseph C. Cua during the event, expressed gratitude to DOLE-Bicol headed by Regional Director Ma. Zenaida Angara-Campita, for its continued support to the abaca farmers. She said that the grant will significantly improve the abaca industry of Catanduanes.

During her May visit early this year, Campita pledged to give livelihood assistance to the province’s abaca industry to aid ease the challenges faced by abaca farmers.

The distribution of abaca stripping machines and other related equipment to the farmers’ associations is set to coincide with the Catandungan Founding Anniversary celebration this October 2023.

Also present during the turnover of the check PESO Manager Prince Subion; Provincial Agriculturist Ace William Tria; Provincial Treasurer Marilou Vargas; DOLE-DILEEP Head Jomell S. Pasano, DOLE-Livelihood Development Specialist April Aquino; and TUPAD Focal Rebokim Nimrod Leo T. Zuñiga. (PIA5/Catanduanes)


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