Thursday, April 27, 2017
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DA’s Piñol seeking Duterte help in alleviating suffering of ‘Lawin’ battered farmers

Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol announced that he is seeking the help of President Rodrigo Duterte to bring relief to farmers in Luzon those crops were damaged by Typhoon “Lawin” and corn farmers in Mindanao those products were severely drenched the incessant rains in the past few days.

These series of misfortunes “has shackled our farmers in endless poverty as they lose money most of which they borrow from middlemen and traders who charge exorbitant interest fees.”

Piñol said this prompted him to issue a memorandum asking President Duterte to order the National Food Authority (NFA) to buy the rice and corn produce of farmers which were drenched by floodwaters and are classified as “spotted.”

“The private traders will not buy spotted rice although when processed, it still possesses good eating quality except for discoloration,” the memorandum emphasized.

Piñol said the NFA could buy the spotted rice, mill and could still be given out in the form of food assistance to the victims of calamities in the country.

The memorandum also asked President Duterte to direct the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) to immediately make available an additional P1-billion in Quick Reaction Fund for the DA.

“The P1-billion would be used in replenishing the P350-million which is now being readied for disbursement to assist the rice and corn farmers and fishermen affected by the recent typhoons. Our poor farmers and fisherfolks are pinning their hopes on your compassionate heart, Mr. President, to lift them up and out of this tragic situation,” Piñol said.

He added that he emailed the said memorandum to President Duterte “knowing how this leader cares for his people, I am expecting positive results.”

Around 31,751 families or 158,736 individuals were directly affected by super typhoon Lawin in Regions 1, 2, 3, CALABARZON, 5 and CAR (Cordillera Administrative Region) that left 14 people dead and 4 others injured, records from the NDRRMC said.

Total damage was placed at P3,737,721,352.16, the NDRRMC data added.

Damages to infrastructure reached up to P2,721,799,188.00 and P1,015,922,164.16 in agriculture.

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