The Department of Agriculture has awarded over half a billion worth of farm machineries and projects to the province of Pangasinan.
During a stakeholders’ forum held at the Sison Auditorium on August 31, Agriculture Sec. William D. Dar handed over a project certificate to Governor Amado I. Espino III for the Province of Pangasinan as a recipient of various DA projects for 2019 worth P621 million.
Shortly after the awarding of the project certificate, Sec. Dar and Governor Espino led the turnover of machineries and equipment to some 126 farmer groups and beneficiaries from the towns and cities of the six districts of the province, including: 76 units of 4WD tractor, 31 combine harvesters, 64 hand tractors, 4 units riding types, 4 units of walk behind, 15 mobile dryers, 7 seed cleaners, 7 compact ricemills, 100 waterpumps and 1 unit of hauling truck.
In his speech, Sec. Dar stressed that these farm interventions of the DA further uphold the vision of the agency: “To ensure food security in the Philippines with prosperous farmers and fisherfolks.”
Sec. Dar also pledged that the DA under the mandate of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte is constant in initiating programs and assistance to further uplift the lives and support the source of income of farmers, fisherfolks and all stakeholders of these sectors.
The DA secretary also assured fair and easier access to programs in agriculture.
Ensuring that the agency tackles all concerns of the sector, Sec. Dar noted that some of the most prominent matters of agriculture include price drop of rice.
“Inatasan natin ang National Food Authority through their administrator na itong panahon ng pagbagsak ng palay prices, ay tututukan nila ‘yung mga maliliit o maralitang magsasaka,” he said.
In addition to this, the DA will provide loan assistance dubbed, “Sure Aid Program” which has P1.5-billion allocation.
“Every farmer tilling 1 hectare and below can borrow P15,000 with zero interest and payable up to eight years,” he remarked underscoring that all rice production made with the loan assistance will also be purchased by the NFA.
He also assured simplified and faster processing of loan application with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) as partner of the DA.
The DA secretary also hailed the leadership of Governor Espino for supporting all programs of the agriculture sector.
On the other hand, Governor Espino thanked the national government for the support which will surely boost the agricultural production in Pangasinan.
“Natutuwa po ako dahil meron tayong isang partner na tumutulong sa atin na narito ngayon upang magbigay ng tulong sa mga kooperatiba at magsasaka ng buong probinsya,” Governor Espino stated.
The provincial chief executive also exhorted all farmers and recipients of the machineries and equipment to take good care of the benefits from the DA.
Despite numerous issues encountered in agriculture, Governor Espino assured that the provincial government remains steadfast in backstopping farmers, fisherfolks and all stakeholders in Pangasinan.
“Huwag po sana kayong magsawa na pagyabungin ang makakatulong sa ating agrikultura para maalagaan natin ang ating pamilya,” he urged farmers.
Also present during the Stakeholders Forum were: DA-RFO1 Exe. Dir. Lucrecio R. Alviar, Jr., CESO III, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Regional Director Nestor Domenden, NFA Provincial Manager Ramon Cuaresma, Congressman Jumel Anthony I. Espino, Vice Governor Mark Ronald Lambino, BM Liberato Z. Villegas, BM Vic M. Ventanilla, and some mayors in the province.
/Shiella Mae C. De Guzman (Photos by Neiza Ivana Ferrer & Carlo Dela Cruz)