The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has distributed subsidy in the form of farm inputs, supplemental food, non-food items, and livelihood projects to more than 6,810 farmers in the Ilocos Region amid the coronavirus disease pandemic.
In an interview Thursday, DAR Ilocos regional director Homer Tobias said the subsidy program was called by Secretary John Castriciones as ‘Passover: Agrarian Reform Bold Move for Deliverance of Farmers from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic’ since the farmers are among the most affected by the lockdown caused by the pandemic.
“Some 2,250 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) farmers have received farm inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides from the agency as subsidy due to the Covid-19, while some 4,500 ARB-farmers have received supplemental food and non-food items like vitamins, medicines, and hygiene kits,” he said.
DAR has also provided livelihood support to female ARBs under crisis situations.
“Some 60 women ARBs were given livelihood projects such hog fattening or whatever they would like to start-up,” Tobias said.
He said the chosen ARBs for the subsidy program were those who have received their certificate of land ownership award (CLOA) from 2010 to the present.
“Since they have just recently got their CLOA, we believe they still have little income as compared to other ARBs,” he added.
Tobias said DAR has spent PHP8.5 million from its own funds since they were not part of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (Bayanihan 1).
“This was an augmentation for the other subsidies to the farmers from the national government,” he said.
Ilocos Region has more than 200 ARB organizations in the four provinces of the region. (PNA)
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