ILOCOS SUR — The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) distributed a total of 1, 200 identification cards (IDs) to selected agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Ilocos Sur for them to be able to access easily the various programs, projects and services being provided by the government.
Christianne Suguitan, provincial agrarian reform program officer of DAR-Ilocos Sur, said “The IDs will ensure the inclusion of our farmers in any of the Social Amelioration Programs from other government agencies aside from DAR.”
Suguitan said that DAR handed out IDs to ARBs who have been issued with registered emancipation patents and to those who were awarded with individual or collective certificates of land ownership award from 2016 to 2020.
DAR-Ilocos Sur has also assisted ARBs in the province by marketing their fresh harvests to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) for the supply of food items for persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) under its custody.
“May memorandum of agreement kasi kami with BJMP at our central offices na sila ang bibili ng products ng ARBs namin para may steady market sila. Pero matagal na walang nangyari. Ngayon, ang BJMP na ang tumawag sa amin to buy,” she said.
She added that four agrarian reform beneficiaries’ organizations have sold their products to BJMP in Candon City for the food requirements of PDLs.
“We expect the rest of the BJMP units in the province to follow suit kasi tumatawag na sila for orders,”she said.
Further, Suguitan said they have issued quarantine accreditation passes to enable ARBs to continue supplying agricultural products amid the enhanced community quarantine.
Meanwhile, in today’s episode of the Laging Handa Network Briefing, Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella asked Agriculture Secretary William Dar of their agency’s programs to help farmers in the city.
In reply, Dar said, “Meron po. Ito ang tinatawag natin na urban agriculture. Tamang-tama sa Cebu City. Sa upland areas ninyo, mga vegetable production ang gagawin po natin diyan at native chicken raising.”
He said, “Ang financial subsidy for rice farmers ay dati na under the General Appropriations Act, ‘yong mga naapektuhan ng pagbaba ng presyo ng palay.”
“Now, ang social amelioration program ng gobyerno under the COVID-19, ang plano ay nandoon na sa P205B ng Department of Social Welfare and Development. ‘Yong first tranche ay naibigay na. ‘Yong low income families na farmers na hindi kasama sa Financial Subsidy to Rice Farmers, even the upland farmers and fisherfolks, ay dapat kasama na sila sa listahan ng mga barangays or local government units,” he added.
The Network Briefing airs daily from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at Radyo Pilipinas hosted by Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar and can be viewed at the Philippine Information Agency’s regional and provincial Facebook pages around the country.
Aside from the above assistance rendered to farmers in Ilocos Sur, DAR employees also continue to provide financial assistance to contractual and job order employees who are not health workers but are on the front line against COVID-19 in the province.
Suguitan said, “They are security guards, janitors, nursing aids, laundry staff and ambulance drivers – those with meager salaries but also offer great sacrifices during these challenging times.”
Last Tuesday, DAR employees handed the cash assistance to Dr. Leticia De Vera and Accountant Baby de Peralta for the 33 contractual and job order employees of the Santa Lucia District Hospital.
The same assistance, donated by DAR-Ilocos Sur employees, was given earlier to 18 employees of the Provincial Health Office and since they have targeted 100 recipients, they will also give aid for employees in a health facility in Magsingal town.