Yolanda-affected farmers get DA assistance
The Department of Agriculture (DA) has spent a total of P100 million to rehabilitate the livelihood of the farmers in 16 localities in Cebu affected by typhoon Yolanda five years ago.
Typhoon Yolanda hit the Visayas, particularly northern Cebu, on Nov. 8, 2013 and destroyed the farms and houses of the residents, mostly farmers in Bogo City and the towns of Borbon, Medellin, Daanbantayan, San Remigio, Sogod, Tabogon, Tabuelan, Tuburan, Bantayan, Sta. Fe, Madridejos, Poro, Tudela, San Francisco and Pilar.
Marina T. Hermoso, DA officer-in-charge-regional executive director, told SunStar Cebu that of the P100 million, P68.7 million was spent in 2014, a few months after the typhoon. It focused on rehabilitation.
Hermoso said the local government units (LGUs) in northern Cebu that were hit hardest by Yolanda were given cash-for-work programs. This was followed by the distribution of tools to their farmers, then palay seeds and corn seeds for planting. When the rice and corn grew, the distribution of fertilizer followed.
“Each of the 16 LGUs received one four-wheeled tractor with complete accessories and fuel subsidy,” Hermoso said.
In 2017, the DA disbursed the balance of P31.3 million to the LGUs for distribution of coffee and cacao planting materials and restocking/distribution of animals (cattle, carabao, goat, native chicken) with provision of vaccines and biologics.
This enabled the farmers to engage in animal fattening and propagation, side by side with growing of their crops.
Around 70,000 farmers from the affected localities are beneficiaries of this continuing project, Hermoso said.
Currently, the DA is downloading to the seven LGUs of Poro, Tudela, Sta. Fe, San Remigio, Medellin, Tabuelan and Daanbantayan the amount of P30.5 million to cover similar interventions. These seven LGUs have the Seal of Good Local Governance from the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
Hermoso said the interventions to help the farmers recover immediately from the natural calamity, are on top of the regular programs of the DA, which include the provision of farm inputs and technical assistance.
LIFE GOES ON. A man works in a banana farm in Lamintak Norte in Medellin. Medellin was one of 15 towns and one city that were devastated when super typhoon Yolanda struck northern Cebu on Nov. 8, 2013 .