P5 Million Worth Sacks of Rice Released to El Niño-Affected Farmers by DSWD 10

P5 Million Worth Sacks of Rice Released to El Niño-Affected Farmers by DSWD 10

Last Tuesday, July 26, 2016, about 5,000 Kahugpongan sa mga Maguuma (Kasama) and the Organisasyon sa mga Yanong Obrerong Nagkahiusa (Ogyon) farmers left their camps at the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 10 compound boarding dump trucks and commercial buses.

According to Aldersey Mumar Dela Cruz, DSWD 10 Assistant Regional Director for Operations, the farmers agreed to leave given the condition that they, including 16,000 farmer-victims of the El Niño phenomenon, will be given P5 million worth 4,000 sacks of rice as approved by Judy Taguiwalo, DSWD Secretary. An amount of 25 kilos will be given per farmer-family.

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As said by Dela Cruz, the group of farmers initially demanded for 37,000 sacks of rice but later asked for three sacks of rice for each of the 16,000 farmers of which the DSWD cannot afford to give. Yet, an agreement was then approved between the DSWD 10 and the farmer groups suggesting that the allocation will come from the National Food Authority (NFA) in Valencia City, Bukidnon. The NFA will then prepare a list of the said 16,000 beneficiaries for the rice aid.

Dela Cruz added that the farmers made a request that instead passing through the local government units in their provinces, the rice subsidy should be given through their organizations or directly to them. Earlier, DWSD 10 disclosed that they have already released 2,000 sack of rice to 5,000 beneficiaries who were victims of the El Niño phenomenon in Bukidnon.

“In fact, we are about to release the allocation for Quezon, Bukidnon, amounting to 1,592 sacks of rice, pero naunahan man ta (but they came ahead of our release), saying they came to the province reportedly to support the SONA (State of the Nation Address) of President Duterte,” said the DSWD 10 official.

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