CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan — Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar gave seeds and fertilizers worth P175.423 million for the province of Bulacan after he personally visited and witnessed how typhoon Ulysses battered the agricultural farm here wherein an ocular inspection with Governor Daniel Fernando was held in Pulilan town on Friday (Nov. 13).
This was after his personal visit to some affected farmlands specifically in the Pulilan-Baliwag Bypass Road area together with Gov. Daniel R. Fernando, Asec. Noel Reyes, DA, Regional Director Crispulo Bautista, RFO-III, DA, Mayor Maria Rosario Ochoa-Montejo, Provincial Agriculturist Ma. Gloria SF. Carrillo, municipal agriculturists, and farmer leaders.
“We are giving the province this assistance pero posible pa itong madagdagan depende sa magiging resulta ng assessment sa mga susunod na araw. Aside from this, may ayuda rin tayo, maagang pamaskong handog na P5,000 cash sa lahat ng rice farmers na nagsasaka ng isang ektarya pababa, gayundin sa mga non-rice farmers, ito ‘yung mga nagtatanim ng mais, niyog, tubo at mga mangingisda mula sa Bayanihan 2,” Dar said.
Dar and Fernando then proceeded to the Command Center of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO)’s and continue to oversee the status of other agricultural lands.
It was followed by a dialogue with the farmer’s leader and press briefing during Damage Assessment on Agriculture and Fisheries due to the onslaught of said typhoon held at Balagtas Hall in Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center in Malolos City.
During the dialogue, Sec. Dar handed over to Gov. Fernando the Certificate of Award amounting to P175.423-million worth of seeds and fertilizers for Bulakenyo farmers.
The said seeds and fertilizers aid include 15,000 bags of Hybrid Rice Seeds worth P67-million; 15,100 bags of RCEF Certified Seeds worth P22,952,000; 2,918 bags of Expanded Inbred CS worth P4,435,360; 45,000 bags of Fertilizers for Hybrid worth P45-million; 30,200 bags of fertilizer for RCEF worth P30.2-million and 5,836 bags of fertilizer for Expanded Inbred amounting to P5,836,000 with a total of P175,923,000.
Moreover, the secretary said that farmers can still avail of the P25,000 loan with zero interest and will be payable in 10 years.
Gigi Carilio, head of the Provincial Agriculture’s Office in her report to Gov Fernando, it was learned that the affected rice land area is 12,000 hectares all under the reproductive and maturity stage.
These rice lands are located all at the North Zone part of Bulacan located in the First and Second District.
The farmers at the South Zone part were unaffected by the typhoon after being not able to plant due to non-water supply from the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).
Over 1,000 hectares of the vegetable farms were also affected mostly from the towns of San Ildefonso, San Miguel, and San Rafael.
Fernando said that as of Friday afternoon they are still gathering the data and figures from every local municipalities and city for the official total amount of damages in the agricultural industry.
Meanwhile, Dar assured the Filipino people of enough rice supply for the next three months and no need to worry about rice shortage.
The secretary also announced the good news wherein non-rice farmers such as coconut farmers, corn farmers, sugarcane farmers, and even indigenous farmers nationwide will also receive P5,000 each from the allocated P4.5-billion of DA.
“We will give more aid in many ways, nandyan ang ating gobyerno na handang tumulong at magbigay pag-asa. Let us be one and united sa pagbangon,” Dar said.
Dar added that the total worth of agriculture damage and losses left by typhoons Pepito, Quinta, Rolly, and Ulysses nationwide almost reached to P10-billion.
He said, because of the early warning system, announcements, and collaboration with the concerned government agencies, the farming industry was able to save from damages worth P31-billion of agricultural crops due to early advisories.
Fernando on his part expressed his gratitude to Sec Dar for always supporting the province of Bulacan in these trying times.
The governor said the provincial government is now preparing to help affected Bulakenyos not only farmers due to typhoon Ulysses.
According to Rowena Joson-Tiongson, head of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, the governor immediately ordered them to provide hot meals and relief packs to all the evacuees.
They are currently planning on how to distribute reliefs to all other affected Bulakenyos in the next days.
Fernando said that after distributing relief goods to affected Bulakenyos due to typhoons Pepito and Quinta, they only have nine thousand readily available relief goods remaining.
“Nagpahanda tayo ng karagdagan 10,000 pang relief foods at nagrequest na rin tayo ng tulong sa DSWD national para sa 200,000 Bulakenyong apektado ng bagyong Ulysses at agad naman silang tumugon, ” Fernando said
Based on the latest situational report from the PDRRMO, there are 4,698 families or 14,517 individuals that are currently housed in 49 evacuation centers from 20 towns and three cities in the province.
Also, RD Bautista said that owners may report casualties of their livestock due to typhoons which will be included in their recovery plan program.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Regional Director Wilfredo Cruz, RO-III reported that in Region III, approximately 7,500 metric tons of Bangus worth P600M were damaged and P100M worth of Bangus fingerlings were destroyed. (RONDA BALITA Online)