THE Department of Agriculture (DA) has distributed over P4.98 million worth of farm implements and inputs in Tagkawayan, Quezon as part of its assistance to farmers and fisherfolk affected by Typhoon Glenda.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said that the amount includes farm machinery, a cassava drying facility, tractor, livestock animals, fertilizers, seeds, and seedlings distributed to Tagkawayan through a certificate of award.
Besides the initial assistance, Alcala also gave farm animals, knapsack sprayers, corn and palay seeds, and hand tractors to the barangay and farmers’ and fishers’ organizations who were present in the event, while DA Region 4-A distributed tangerine orange seedlings to the local government.
Quezon is the fourth province that Alcala has visited after Typhoon Glenda struck the country in mid-July. It also is one of the longest provinces in the country, with its mainland municipalities along stretching over 200 kilometers from north to south. Tagkawayan Town connects Bicolandia and Southern Tagalog, being the first municipality after the Bicol Region.
Alcala explained that the DA is extending assistance to farmers and fishers in affected areas based on the track of the typhoon.
“The storm first made its landfall in Sorsogon, so we first visited and distributed assistance to the province last week, and moved up to other affected areas in Southern Luzon,” Alcala added.
Alcala urged farmers and fishers to report to their municipal agriculturist the damage their farms sustained from the typhoon and have these certified by the mayor so that assistance may be extended.
Besides the awarding of rehabilitation assistance to the municipality, Alcala also led the launching of a double-A slaughterhouse and the groundbreaking of a fish port site in the town.
With a double A-slaughterhouse, the municipality can sell their meats to different parts of the country.
The agriculture chief also urged the local government to invite big meat companies to have their livestock slaughtered in the newly installed slaughterhouse to increase their income.
Also, Alcala recommended that local leaders and fishers advise nearby towns as soon as their fish port is finished and has started operation to ensure the success of the facility.
“Ibalita ninyo sa ibang mga mangingisda sa kabilang bayan na mayroon na kayong fish port. Hindi po ito i-dinesign na para lang sa atin. Pag mas madami yung mangingisda na pumupunta rito, mas maganda ang trading [Tell other fishermen in your neighboring towns that you have a fish port. This was not designed just for us. The more fishers come here, the better the trading],” Alcala explained.
As part of the rehabilitation assistance, the DA through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources also distributed materials for fishermen to build their own bancas.
The DA chief said that he would return after six months to check the finished boats and pay fishermen P1,500 for their labor.
Alcala’s visit to Quezon is part of the DA’s initiative to help farmers and fishers recoup their losses during the recent typhoon.