More than 600 farmers affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic will get financial assistance from the provincial government, an official said on Tuesday.
“They are those who did not qualify from any of the assistance provided by the line agencies but need to also be given aid,” said Dr. Lolita Bentres, Office of the Provincial Agriculture (OPAG) chief.
She said cut flower and strawberry farmers will get PHP5,000 while vegetable farmers will receive PHP2,500.
She said cut flower and strawberry farmers were the most affected, thus the higher amount.
Bentres said, “we are using the PHP3.2 million allotted to the office [OPAG] under the local disaster risk reduction management (DRRM) which is given as assistance to farmers affected by a calamity.”
She clarified that they are Covid-affected farmers who did not qualify in any of the government assistance programs during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). It took us a while to finalize the beneficiaries because we had to assure that those who will be given did not receive any money from any government agency.”
“We decided to give it in cash instead of seeds and agricultural inputs supplies which will take time to procure. It is money that is needed by the people right now,” Bentres said.
She said that starting May 27, the distribution for the towns of Sablan, Buguis, La Trinidad, Tuba, Kabayan, Kapangan and Mankayan have been scheduled with the mayors.
“We have scheduled with the mayors so that we can assure that we will abide by the protocols and social distancing,” she said.
The towns of Atok and Kibungan, Tublay, Bakun, Bokod and Itogon still have to complete some documentary requirements before their schedules will be set.
Bentres said they wanted to give PHP10,000 each but the number of beneficiaries were numerous prompting them to divide the allocation to accommodate everybody. (PNA)