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DA allocates P22M aid for El Niño-hit farmers

By Ernesto Delgado


THE Department of Agriculture (DA) has earmarked P22 million in immediate relief for farmers in Bicol grappling with El Niño-induced losses.


In an exclusive interview with Ugnayan sa Bicol, DA Bicol spokesperson Lovella Guarin unveiled plans to swiftly distribute assistance to affected localities before the upcoming planting season.


Guarin outlined the aid package: 13,500 bags of certified rice seeds, 1,650 bags of hybrid seeds, 300 bags of yellow corn seeds, 5,000 packets of assorted vegetable seeds, and fertilizers.


“We’ve collaborated with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation to ensure prompt insurance pay-outs for affected farmers,” Guarin said.


Furthermore, the DA has shared farmers’ data with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to facilitate tailored support programs.


Highlighting the staggering impact of El Niño, recent reports from the DA reveal losses totalling nearly P353 million across rice-producing provinces, affecting over 9,200 farmers.


Masbate bore the brunt of the devastation, with damages surpassing P191.1 million, rendering many rain-fed rice farms unproductive.


Assessment of losses in other agricultural sectors, including vegetable farms, fisheries, high-value crops, and livestock, is ongoing, said Guarin. (PIA 5)


DRY SPELL Children trek arid El Nino landscape, highlighting the impact of the phenomenon on crops in Bicol provinces. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

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