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PBBM assures gov’t aid for agri production in Aklan

KALIBO, Aklan (PIA) -- President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. assured the Aklanons of the government’s staunch efforts to advance the agricultural productivity of the province of Aklan.

During his speech on Fridday, Oct. 6, Marcos emphasized that the government remains persistent in supporting the agriculture sector and strengthening the country’s value chain through its various programs and projects.

“Bilang pangunahing pagkain ng mga Pilipino, mahalaga na hindi [mawawala] ang suplay ng bigas sa ating mga tahanan. Sinisikap po nating [pababain] ang presyo ng bigas at iba pang produktong agrikultural upang bigyan ang mamamayan ng kakayahang makabili nito anumang oras kakailanganin nila at ng kanilang pamilya (As the staple food of the Filipinos, it is important that the rice supply in our homes will not [diminish]. We are devoting to lower the price of rice and other agricultural products to give the people the power to buy it whenever they need it),” Marcos noted.

President Marcos hands in the mock check to one of the beneficiaries in Kalibo, Aklan of the livelihood assistance from the Department of Agriculture- Philippine Rural Development Project. (Courtesy: RTVM)

He also affirmed the approval of at least P13 billion worth of funds under the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA) Program through the Department of Agriculture (DA), which will provide a subsidy worth P5,000 each, to more than two million farmers, particularly during the El Niño season.

“Pinaparami natin ang produksyon ng palay at inaalalayan ang mga magsasaka sa pamamagitan ng mga makinarya, mga punla, at iba pang mga gamit sa pagtatanim, pag-ani, pagpapakiskis, at paghatid sa mga pamilihan (We are increasing the production of rice and assisting our farmers through providing machinery, seeds, and other farming equipment, harvesting, harnessing, and delivery of their products to the market),” said Marcos.

Through the DA, Marcos also noted that P30 million was also given to the province to augment the recovery of the swine and shellfish industry in Aklan that were affected by the African Swine Fever (ASF) and the occurrence of red tide.

Also, apart from the continued distribution of premium quality rice to the 3,000 beneficiaries of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in Panay Island, more assistance from various special programs and attached agencies of the DA were turned over to Aklan province in particular.

The DA-Philippine Rural Development Project provided different livelihood assistance to the three associations based in Altavas, Banga, and Nabas towns.

Through the DA’s Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), the accredited learning sites for agriculture were also given training assistance through the funding support handed out during the simultaneous distribution of government aid.

The National Dairy Authority, on the other hand, provided another three identified associations in the province with dairy livelihood assistance in the form of animal stewardship amounting to P16.2 million.

Marcos also led the distribution of some farm implements like fertilizers as well as other farm machinery and equipment (FMEs) from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to the 241 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in the province.

The recipients of these other government interventions include several associations in the towns of Ibajay, Makato, and Malinao.

A total of 72 fertilizer packs, two rice grass cutters, two hand tractors, and an irrigation pump were handed in by the President to the association representatives.

Further, the DAR issued a total of 128 certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) to the identified beneficiaries in Aklan.

The event also comes at an opportune time as the President has recently announced the lifting of price caps on both regular-milled and well-milled rice.

“Nais ko na rin pong gamitin ang pagkakataong ito upang [hikayatin] kayo na makiisa sa pagbabantay laban sa smuggling at sa hoarding at mga sindikatong patuloy na namamayagpag

Some rice beneficiaries during the simultaneous distribution of government support in Kalibo, Aklan on Oct.6. (Courtesy: PCO)

sa pagsasamantala sa taumbayan (I wanted to use this time to enjoin you in monitoring to fight against the smuggling and hoarding, and other syndicates who continuously proliferate and take advantage of the people),” said Marcos, citing that the government will not cease until these smugglers no longer exist.

Meanwhile, other government agencies provided more aid through their various support programs.The Department of Health (DOH) provided beneficiaries of P3.6 million worth of medical assistance to indigent patients; the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) gave out P1.5 million livelihood assistance; the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) provided scholars with financial assistance amounting to P3.25 million and under UniFAST with P31.67 million; and a seed capital fund were turned over from the DSWD worth P600,000.

Scholars queue at the booth of TESDA for the allowance distribution during PBBM’s visit in Kalibo, Aklan. (Courtesy: PIA Aklan)

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) distributed a total support of P1,158,806.95 to Aklan in the form of 107 tablets with accessories serving as toolkits for some scholars and allowances for its 85 other scholars.

In Tangalan town of the same province, the President also attended the ceremonial turnover of financial assistance to the beneficiaries of the Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP) of the National Housing Authority (NHA).

These 5,301 beneficiaries from Makato town were affected by Typhoon Ursula on December 24, 2019 and were given P26,505,000 cash assistance in total.

The DA-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) likewise extended help to the Aklan fisherfolk, whose bancas were destroyed by the same typhoon, with 16 fiberglass fishing boats.

Exemplifying the whole-of-government approach, Marcos highlighted that helping and putting confidence in one another will surely lead Filipinos to prosperous, peaceful, and stronger lives.

“Sana wala nang gutom, wala nang maghihikahos, at wala nang maiiwan sa pagsalubong sa maliwanag na bukas. Iyan po ang hangarin ng inyong pamahalaan. Iyan po ang hangarin ng lahat ng Pilipino (Hoping that there will be no hunger, no impoverishment, and no one will be left behind in welcoming a brighter future. That is the hope of your government. That is the hope of all Filipinos),” said Marcos as an end note. (AAL/AGP/PIA 6)

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April Grace Padilla

Information Officer II

Region 6

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