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DA extends P680-M initial assistance to typhoon Rolly affected farmers,fishers in Bicol

November 5, 2020

The Department of Agriculture through the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) has allotted P592,432,000 as indemnification fund for 32,761 Bicol farmers, whose insured crops were damaged by super typhoon “Rolly.” Agriculture Secretary William Dar made the announcement during a simple program in Polangui, Albay, where he led the distribution of P90-million worth of various assistance to affected farmers and fishers. Albay is one of the hard-hit provinces in Bicol, where Super Typhoon “Rolly” wrought considerable damage. The assistance included seeds of hybrid rice, corn and assorted vegetables, urea fertilizer, farm implements, and fishing gears and paraphernalia. The PCIC-insured farmers and fishers in Bicol region will receive insurance claims, ranging from P10,000 to P15,000 for their crops, farm equipment, fishing boats, and gears damaged by typhoon “Rolly.” Secretary Dar added that affected farmers and fishers can also avail of an emergency and rehabilitation loan worth P25,000 from the DA’s Agricultural Credit and Policy Council (ACPC), under its Survival and Recovery (SURE) Loan Program. The DA-ACPC has allotted an initial P100M for Bicol under its Survival and Recovery (SURE) loan program. The loan is non-collateral, has zero interest, and is payable in 10 years. Initial estimates of agri-fishery damage in Bicol amount to P2.2 billion, said DA Bicol Regional Director Rodel Tornilla in his report to Secretary Dar, during the simple program at a farmers’ multi-purpose cooperative rice processing center, attended by about 200 farmers, local and national government officials, and DA family officials and staff. Tornilla said Albay suffered an initial damage worth P885 M, including P140-M worth of irrigation systems and P66-M worth of fisheries. During the visit, Secretary Dar met with Albay Governor Al Francis Bicharra, Albay Representative Fernando Cabredo, Polangui Mayor Andy Mariscotes, Oas Mayor Domingo Escoto, Jr., Albay Board Members Dante Arandia and Eva Ribayan, and Albay Provincial Agriculturist Cheryll Rebeta. During the program, Secretary Dar had a dialogue with farmer-leaders, who asked for clarifications on the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL), use of excess tariffs on imported rice, Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), repair and replacement of defective farm machinery, and palay procurement and buffer stocking of the DA’s National Food Authority (NFA). He assured them of continuous support of President Roa Duterte through the DA’s Plant, Plant, Plant Program. The program was also attended by other farmer-leaders and local officials from nearby towns of Lisbon, Guinobatan, and Oas. Meanwhile, in a report to Secretary Dar, NFA Administrator Judy Dansal said that as of October 31, 2020, the agency has bought since January a total of 606,883 50-kg bags of palay, of which 39 percent was procured in October, benefiting thousands of individual farmers and farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs). Dansal added that region-wide the NFA has a current inventory of 548,795 bags of palay and 124,079 bags of rice. It has issued 9,927 bags of rice to various LGUs in five provinces for typhoon Rolly relief operations. During the visit, Secretary Dar was joined by DA Undersecretary for Operations Ariel Cayanan, NFA Administrator Dansal, DA Spokesperson and Assistant Secretary for Strategic Communications Noel Ocampo Reyes, Planters Products President Matt Maderazo, and DA Technical Adviser Jerry Pelayo. (DA-RFO 5 and DA StratComms)  

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Bong Go gives aid to nearly three thousand fire victims in Bacoor City; reiterates push for measures to improve disaster resilience and response

November 5, 2020

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go consoled the victims of a fire that swept through Barangays Alima and Sineguelasan in Bacoor City, Cavite last November 1. A total of 755 families, composed of 2,928 individuals, were given emergency assistance, consisting of meals, financial aid, food packs, vitamins, masks and face shields, during the activity which was carried out at the Strike Gymnasium on Tuesday, November 3 under strict compliance with necessary health and safety protocols. “Nalulungkot ako dahil nag-evacuate kayo dahil sa bagyo. Naiwan ang mga bahay ninyo at imbes na wala pong disgrasyang nangyari, nasunog pa tuloy ang mga pamamahay ninyo. Sabi ko, pupuntahan ko kayo at sa abot ng makakaya namin ni Pangulong [Rodrigo] Duterte ay tutulong kami sa inyong lahat dito,” Go said to the victims. Select beneficiaries were given tablets so their children could participate in the blended learning being implemented in schools. Others were provided bicycles that they could use to commute to work given the limited public transportation options. A ride-hailing service donated backriding barriers as well. Representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development were present to distribute separate additional cash assistance and food packs from the government. Similarly, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office gave away basic medicines and food packs. Additionally, the National Housing Authority gave its commitment to help the beneficiaries rebuild their homes. Relocation sites were made available by the NHA for those who wish to start anew. The Department of Trade and Industry and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority also committed to extend aid through relevant livelihood and skills training programs. The Senator also reminded everyone to cooperate with authorities and follow protocols to protect themselves and their communities such as mandatory wearing masks and face shields, observing social distancing, and washing their hands. Meanwhile, Go also vowed that poor and vulnerable sectors would be prioritized once a vaccine for COVID-19 is available. “Huwag po kayo mawalan ng pag-asa. Patuloy lang po tayong magbayanihan at magmalasakit sa kapwa. Kapag mayroon nang safe at effective na v accine laban sa COVID-19, kayo po ang uunahin namin — ang mga mahihirap, vulnerable, at pinaka-nangangailangan,” Go reiterated. Furthermore, Go offered to pay for the treatment of beneficiaries with medical conditions. He encouraged them to seek medical and financial assistance by availing of the services from the nearest Malasakit Center located at the General Emilio Aguinaldo Medical Hospital in Trece Martires City. “Nandyan po ang Malasakit Center para magserbisyo sa inyo. Batas na po iyan. Pera nyo po iyan, ibinabalik lang sa inyo sa pamamagitan ng mabilis, maayos at maaasahang serbisyong medikal para sa bawat Pilipino,” Go said. After aiding the fire victims, Go urged the Bureau of Fire Protection to investigate the fire incident. He reiterated his call for the passage of Senate Bill No. 204 or the Fire Protection Modernization Bill of 2019 which shall establish a Fire Protection Modernization Program. Under the bill, the BFP will be provided adequate funding to hire more personnel, acquire modern fire equipment and provide training for their firefighters, among others. He also reiterated his commitment to push for SBN 205 or the Disaster Resilience Act of 2019 in an interview after the event. Go’s proposed department will improve the delivery of assistance to disaster victims by establishing a chain of command devoted to response operations. “Layunin ng bill na ito na magkaroon ng isang departamento na Cabinet-level na handang tumugon kaagad po. ‘Yung preparedness natin bago dumating ‘yung bagyo at pag-improve ng coordination sa iba’t ibang ahensya ng gobyerno... at dahil Cabinet-level, may Secretary level na rin na timon at pwede niya po ipatawag at paki-usapan ‘yung mga ka-level niyang Gabinete,” Go explained. “Mayroon ring regional offices or even down to provincial offices na pwede pong tumugon at mayroong malalapitan kaagad ang ating mga kababayan na apektado ng mga krisis na dulot ng kalamidad at iba pang sakuna,” he explained. During the distribution activity, Go thanked Senator Ramon Revilla Jr., Mayor Lani Mercado and Congressman Strike Revilla, among others, for making the activity possible. He also acknowledged the efforts of the local government units to respond to the needs of their constituents. Go, who recently visited the typhoon victims in Albay, reassured that President Duterte and this administration are committed to serve the interests and protect the welfare of all Filipinos, especially during times of crisis. “Nagtra-trabaho ang ating Pangulo. Minsan nga po madaling araw nakakausap ko at very much concerned po siya ano na ang nangyari at kung handa na ba ang lahat. Ako naman po, I also commend the local government units and their officials sa kanilang ginawang paghahanda at pagresponde sa bagyo. Malaking bagay po yung mga maagang evacuation para maiwasan ang disgrasya,” Go said. “Palagi po nating uunahin ang buhay ng bawat Pilipino lalo na tuwing mayroong disaster at sa panahon ngayon na mayroon pang pandemya. Huwag po kayo mag-alala. Nandirito po ang gobyerno ninyo na palaging handang magsilbi sa bawat Pilipino,” vowed Go. (OSBG)

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Bong Go provides aid to market vendors in Pandi, Bulacan

October 30, 2020

On Wednesday, October 28, the office of Senator Christopher “Bong” Go distributed meals, food packs, masks, and face shields to 374 vendors, at the Pandi Public Market in Pandi, Bulacan, as COVID-19 continues to adversely affect their livelihoods. Aside from the said aid, Go’s team also handed out bicycles to selected recipients to help them in their daily commute to work. They also provided tablets to some beneficiaries to help their children adapt to blended learning in schools. The Department of Social Welfare and Development likewise gave financial assistance and additional food packs. Representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry were also present during the event to assess those who are eligible for their livelihood assistance under their existing programs. Expressing his concern for market vendors, Go reminded them to strictly follow health protocols to safeguard themselves from the COVID-19. “Sa mga kababayan ko diyan, alam kong hirap na hirap po ang ating mga public market vendors sa inyong negosyo at kadalasan din po d’yan ang hawaan ng sakit sa pinagtatrabahuhan ninyo. Kaya naman po napili namin na abutan kayo ng tulong para maprotektahan ang inyong sarili at matulungang makaahon muli ang inyong kabuhayan,” he said. “Meron lang po akong paalala sa inyo, mag-ingat po kayo, dapat social distancing palagi. ‘Yung face shield at mask, pakisuot lang po ito. Kung hindi na kailangang umalis ng bahay, ‘wag muna umalis. Hugas po kayo ng kamay, panatilihing malinis ang paligid at sunod lang kayo sa gobyerno dahil para naman po sa kapakanan ninyo ang ginagawa namin,” he reminded them. Despite the ongoing public health crisis, the Senator continues to reach out and extend much needed assistance to Filipinos in crisis situations. “Patuloy akong tutulong, lalong-lalo na sa mga mahihirap at mga pinaka-apektado ng krisis. Bisyo ko po ang magserbisyo sa inyo. Tuloy dapat ang serbisyo lalo na sa panahong hirap na hirap na ang mga kapwa nating Pilipino. Gagawin po natin ang lahat sa abot ng ating makakaya para magbigay ng tulong at mag-iwan ng ngiti sa oras ng inyong pagdadalamhati,” Go said. Go’s office has been extending assistance to public market vendors. He has so far provided aid to public market vendors in Kamuning, Quezon City; Caloocan City; Cainta and Tanay, Rizal; Ubay, Bohol; and Digos City, Davao del Sur; among others. (OSBG)

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Bong Go sends aid to displaced workers in San Juan City

October 30, 2020

 To help Filipinos get through the health crisis, especially those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go provided assistance to 22 displaced informal sector workers in San Juan City. The distribution was held at San Juan City Hall in strict compliance with health protocols. The Senator’s staff provided meals, food packs, masks, face shields and vitamins. “May dala po akong food packs, masks at face shields para sa inyo. Gamitin ninyo ito para maiwasan nating magkahawaan ng sakit,” Go said through a video call. “Magtiis lang muna tayo ngayon. Alam kong hirap na kayo, mga kababayan ko. Kami rin po hirap na hirap na. Ngunit ang nagpapalakas ng loob namin ni Pangulo ay kayo. Kahit nahihirapan na sa sitwasyon, pero kung makita niya ang mga Pilipino, kayo po ang nagbibigay lakas sa aming makapagtrabaho pa po ng maigi para sa kabutihan ninyong lahat,” he added. The Senator also assured that once the vaccine against COVID-19 is made available, the poor and the vulnerable will be prioritized and given access. “Huwag kayong mag-alala, kapag mayroon na pong vaccine, uunahin namin ang lahat ng mahihirap para po makabalik na sa normal nating pamumuhay. Importante po safe ito at hindi basta turok lang. Kapag safe na ito, unahin namin kayo,” he said. Personnel from the Department of Labor and Employment were also present during the distribution activity to provide government assistance through its existing programs to the displaced workers. DOLE gave away bicycles through their Bisikleta Pangkabuhayan, Free Bisikleta Livelihood Project. They also provided each beneficiary an assistance package for their livelihood needs. The Senator also urged the beneficiaries to go to the nearest Malasakit Center located in San Juan Medical Center for their medical needs and other health-related concerns. “Nariyan na po ang apat na ahensya ng gobyerno, ang DSWD, DOH, PCSO at PhilHealth. Nasa iisang bubong na lang silang lahat kaya hindi na kayo magsasayang ng pera, pagod at pawis para lang makakuha ng tulong mula sa gobyerno. Ngayon, isang araw tapos na ‘yung proseso ng pagpapagamot,” Go said. The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop that brings together under one roof the national agencies from which patients may apply for aid, namely, the Department of Health, DSWD, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and PCSO. There are currently 89 Malasakit Centers nationwide — with sixteen such centers located in Metro Manila. “Pumunta lang po kayo sa Malasakit Center dahil tiyak na tutulungan kayo pagdating sa pangangailangan ninyong pangkalusugan. Pera ninyo po iyan, ibinabalik lang sa inyo sa pamamagitan ng mabilis, maayos at maaasahang serbisyo para sa bawat Pilipino,” he explained. Despite the ongoing public health crisis, the Senator continues to reach out and extend much needed assistance to Filipinos in crisis situations. “Patuloy akong tutulong, lalong-lalo na sa mga mahihirap at mga pinaka-apektado ng krisis. Bisyo ko po ang magserbisyo sa inyo. Tuloy dapat ang serbisyo lalo na sa panahong hirap na hirap na ang mga kapwa nating Pilipino,” he said. “Magtulungan lang po tayo at magbayanihan upang maiangat muli ang ating kabuhayan. Sumunod tayo sa mga health protocols bilang pagmamalasakit sa ating kapwa. Malalampasan din natin itong lahat kapag magkakaisa tayo,” he ended. (OSBG)    

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Gov’t to build more FMRs for enhanced economic activities

October 30, 2020

The Department of Agriculture (DA) is set to improve and enhance economic activities in the countryside with the establishment of more farm-to-market roads (FMRs) under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or “Bayanihan 2”.   This was stressed by Agriculture Secretary William Dar during the opening of the 11.91-kilometer FMR along Jose Mencio in Atok, Benguet.   “The FMR project is a very important investment, which will propel a 60 percent rate of improvement in moving produce from the production area to the trading centers,” Dar explained.   The Atok road project, with a total cost of P202.34 million and funded under the Philippine Rural Development Project, will benefit 11,825 individuals from 2,561 households in the barangays of Caliking, Topdac, Poblacioan, Abiang, Naguey, and Pasdong. The DA chief announced that following the opening of the improved FMR, coffee production in Atok is projected to increase by 20 percent annually.   The FMR will also support the efficient transportation of other commodities coming from the municipality including heirloom rice, chayote, cabbage, carrots, white potato, and taro among others.   “It will significantly reduce postharvest losses by 10%, decrease travel time by 58%, and increase traffic count by 30%,” the agri chief said.   He added that the project will enhance economic activities, not only in Atok but in other Benguet towns.   “Mas gaganda na ang inyong buhay dahil may maganda ng daan na magaganiy para madala ang inyong mga produkto sa market areas,” Secretary Dar said.   The agri chief underscored that the government will continue to invest in the construction of farm to market roads so that farmers can bring quality produce to the market centers.   Out of the P24 billion (B) budget awarded to the DA under the Bayanihan Act, P5B has been set aside for the construction of FMRs. (AR, DA-AFID)  

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DA to support clustered backyard poultry, livestock farms

October 29, 2020

 In succeeding months, more organized backyard livestock and poultry farms will rise in the countryside as the Department of Agriculture (DA) implements an expanded livestock and poultry production and livelihood project. “With this initiative, we aim to help farm families recover from the loss of jobs and unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and those whose hogs and poultry stocks were depopulated due to the African Swine Fever or avian influenza (bird flu), respectively,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar. Under the project, qualified beneficiaries will receive initial stocks of livestock and poultry animals for them to raise and propagate as a source of food and sustainable income. These include chicks for broiler production, or ready-to-lay pullets for table egg production, or free-range chicken, ducks, swine (for ASF free areas), goats, sheep, cattle, and carabao. The DA’s expanded livestock and poultry production and livelihood project has an initial budget of P337 million (M) and forms part of the DA’s national livestock program (NLP). To attain the project’s objectives, qualified beneficiaries are required to group themselves into clusters with at least 15 members, or be a member of a farmers’ cooperative, association or peoples’ organization. Tasked as project implementer, the DA-Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) has identified initial beneficiaries who will be clustered per area. Beneficiaries may start realizing gains as early as two months for those engaged in broiler production, and four to six months for those in chicken egg production, and raising of hogs, goats, and sheeps. Included, too, in the project guidelines is the provision of animal feed for three months to enable beneficiaries to nourish and fatten their stocks into marketable weight or age. Farm tools, equipment, and machinery may also be given to selected beneficiaries. The project beneficiaries per module may receive the following: ·         Broiler production – 100 chicks worth P15,000; ·         Native chicken and egg production – 40 hens, 10 roosters, feeds, and incubator, worth P55,000; ·         Duck and balut production – 40 ducks and 10 drakes, worth P35,000; ·         Hog production – three piglets (weaners) and eight bags of feeds, worth P25,000; and ·         Livestock production – three does and 1 buck, one cattle or one carabao, at least P30,000 up to P120,000. In all, the national livestock program (NLP) aims to promote animal and poultry breeding and production, particularly of meat, eggs, and milk, said DA Undersecretary for Livestock and Poultry William Medrano. His team is tasked to ensure the smooth implementation of the NLP in coordination with the DA regional field offices in collaboration with the local government units. ### (PRL/DA StratComms)  

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