The Department of Agriculture (DA) is setting aside P1.2 billion for the immediate rehabilitation of the farming industry in Eastern Visayas after the devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda late last year.
The bulk of the budget or P800 million will be used to repair damaged facilities such as the DA regional office building, satellite offices, laboratories and vehicles. The remaining P400 million will be for procurement of seeds, fertilizers and farm machinery that would restore production.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala during his recent visit in Tacloban said the budget represents the preliminary release for Region 8 and there will be additional allotments later this year and in succeeding years.
”While we are helping farmers, we also have to prioritize building the capacity of our regional office for them to be able to implement sustainable recovery efforts,” Alcala said
The DA chief said the budget for the region is on top of the P2.8-billion rehabilitation fund for coconut industry recovery and P1.7-billion funds to restore fish production.
More than half of the rehabilitation funds of the Bureau of Fisheries and Resources (BFAR) and the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) will be channeled to Eastern Visayas.
“Although the P2.8 billion will also cover Regions 6 and 7, about 70 percent will be used in Region 8 considering the extent of damage here,” said PCA Administrator Euclides. Forbes.
Rehabilitation efforts will focus on replanting and fertilization.
For fishery rehabilitation, about 60 percent of the P1.7 billion outlay will be spent in Region 8, said BFAR Director Asis Perez. Projects include rebuilding fishing boats, aquaculture development, mangrove replanting and rehabilitation of wrecked facilities.