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PBBM to lead launch of South Cotabato’s rice production, universal health care program

KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato (PIA) -- President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will lead the grand launch of South Cotabato’s Consolidated Rice Production and Mechanization Program and Universal Health Care (UHC) Program Wednesday, June 14.

The Consolidated Rice Production and Mechanization Program is one of the priorities of Governor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. 

According to the project briefer, the project "aims to create an organized and efficient rice production and marketing system that will enhance production, improve grain quality, and amplify global competitiveness of the province’s rice growers through practices of climate resilience, good agriculture, low-cost production, efficient farm mechanization and value adding strategies." 

Under the program, small rice farmers within an irrigation system service area are formed into compact rice production areas that will implement a uniform cropping system, plant a sole hybrid rice variety, and follow good agricultural practices. Farmers will also be empowered through agribusiness and economic enterprises. 

“We are consolidating small farms to be operated in a corporate farming approach. After production, produced fresh palay will be transported to the South Cotabato Rice Processing Center where it will go through the mechanical drying,” Gov. Tamayo explained.

Tamayo said this system is directed towards fulfilling President Marcos’s commitment to alleviate farmers from poverty and reduce the price of rice.

The project’s pilot site, located in Barangay Dajay, Surallah, involves 94 farmers with 210 hectares of farm; however, the provincial government plans to expand the project area to initially 1,400 hectares in the municipalities of Tantangan, Norala, Sto. Niño, Banga, and the city of Koronadal. 

President Marcos will speak to nearly 1,000 farmers at the project launching event in Barangay Liwanay, Banga.

During the event, PBBM will hand over to Gov. Tamayo support from the national government for the project.

OIC Regional Executive Director John Pascual of the Department of Agriculture (DA) 12 told the Philippine Information Agency that the support for the Consolidated Rice Production and Mechanization Program amounts to over P115 million. These include the construction of a warehouse and a Rice Processing Center, hauling trucks, hybrid seeds, fertilizers, and other inputs and machines.

From Banga, the President will proceed to the South Cotabato Gymnasium and Cultural Center in Koronadal City for the official kick-off of the province’s Universal Health Care Program.

At the event, Gov. Tamayo will present to President Marcos a copy of the South Cotabato Province-wide Health System (SC-PWHS) and Referral Manual.

South Cotabato is the first province in the country to have produced a UHC referral manual and an accompanying facilitator’s guide. 

It has also integrated UHC into the local investment plan for health. 

PBBM will also lead the distribution of government assistance to local government units, displaced and disadvantaged workers, overseas Filipino workers, farmer cooperatives and organizations, women’s groups, and indigents. 

Government aids include more than P300 million worth of farm-to-market roads, machineries, seedlings, farm inputs, AgriNegosyo loan, and indemnity checks through the Department of Agriculture and its attached agencies; P39 million in livelihood, emergency employment, scholarships, training assistance, solar-powered household lighting kits, toolkits, and others through the Department of Labor and Employment, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, and the Department of Migrant Workers; P20 million assistance to individuals in crisis situations via the Department of Social Welfare and Development; and over P5 million worth of livelihood kits and shared service facilities through the Department of Trade and Industry.

PBBM is also expected to visit the Kadiwa ng Pangulo pop-up stores and job fair in Koronadal City. (PIA SOCCSKSARGEN)

About the Author

Danilo Doguiles


Region 12

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