By Liezle Basa Inigo
LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – As proof, DA Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol was in Lingayen, Pangasinan the other day to award at least P81.6 million worth of agricultural assistance to the province.
Speaking at the Sison Auditorium, Piñol said the assistance was given by the national government for the rehabilitation program for both agriculture and fishery industries severely damaged by monsoon rains enhanced by tropical storm “Inday” and tropical depression “Josie.”
Over P81 million worth of hybrid palay seeds (12,000 bags), certified palay seeds (20,000 bags) and hybrid corn seeds (100 bags) was awarded to the province of Pangasinan which will be granted to various farmer organizations of the 32,000-hectare affected farmland due to the incessant rains in Pangasinan.
Sec. Piñol also disclosed some of the ongoing loan assistance programs of the department, such as, the Survival and Recovery (SURE) Assistance Program through its Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC).
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol assured that the national government is expediting recovery efforts.
Sec. Piñol added that through the SURE program which offers loan grant of at least 5,000 to 25,000 with no interest charge, small farmers and fisherfolk whose livelihood was affected by the calamity will be provided immediate relief and regain their capacity to earn a living.
Likewise, secretary also pledged to donate fifty units of boats to various fisherfolk associations in the province.
Accordingly, although the extent of damage of the flooding may appear daunting, this will not affect the national production of rice. “The rain came when the rice is still at the vegetative level,” he added stating that farmers can still make it on the harvest season.
Governor Amado I. Espino, III, on the other hand, commended the quick response of the DA to bring hope to the victims of the calamity.(Liezle Basa Inigo )