(Governor’s Office Information Unit news)
As the provincial government finally received the P50M abaca rehab fund from the Department of Agriculture, 13, 529 abaca farmers from the 11 municipalities will be benefited through the provision of “Cash for Work” incentive.
Aimed at rebuilding the source of livelihood of abaca farmers that were affected by Typhoon Nina, the farmers will replant a total of 15,034.06 has. using 6, 251, 944 abaca planting materials (APMs).
According to PhilFIDA, each farmer-beneficiary with heavy damage (Category A) will replant 585 pcs. of Abaca Planting Materials (APMs) and receive an incentive of P4,678.00, while those with moderate damage (Category B) will replant 300 pcs. of APMs and receive P2,400.00 cash incentive and those with slightly damage (Category C) will replant 250 pcs. and receive P2,000.00 cash incentive.
During the Project Briefing and Launching of the Rehabilitation of Typhoon-Damaged Abaca Areas in Catanduanes at Virac Town Center, Victor Hall on February 8, 2018, Regional Executive Director, Dr. Elena B. Delos Santos who represented Department of Agriculture Sec. Emmanuel Piñol, Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) Executive Director Kennedy T. Costales, and PhilFIDA OIC-Regional Director Mary Anne R. Molina personally handed over the P50M cheque to Governor Joseph C. Cua
This was followed by a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing among the Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU), PhilFIDA-V, and 11 Municipal Local Government Units (MLGUs).
The MOA for the rehabilitation of typhoon-damaged abaca areas in Catanduanes aims to foster cooperation among each party and manifests their obligations for the effective and efficient implementation of the project.
In her message, Regional Executive Director, Dr. Elena B. Delos Santos said that though the abaca farmers have waited long, it took only less than a year for the release of abaca rehab when in fact 2 years is the fastest when it comes to releasing funds.
It was due to the persistent and constant follow-up for the budget done by government officials, like Governor Joseph C. Cua who personally reached out to Sec. Piñol and pursue the fund at the DA Central Office and Cong. Cesar Sarmiento who keep on raising the matter during budget hearing and defending the abaca industry in Catanduanes at the plenary session, and even Dir. Costales as well as AKO-BICOL representative Cong. Rodel Batocabe who likewise pursued for the whole P300M rehab fund for the Bicol Region, she added.
Executive Director Costales reiterated to protect the industry as he conferred about the abaca tuxy-buying that will raise the quality of abaca fibers and increase the income of the abaca farmers.
Governor Cua expressed his gratitude that the abaca rehabilitation project was finally launched considering all the efforts the provincial government exerted to make sure that help is extended to the abaca farmers who have been affected by TY Nina.
“We will all work together for the rehabilitation of our typhoon damaged abaca areas,” Gov. Cua said.
Virac Mayor Sammy Laynes who conveyed his message through Councilor Hermin Zafe said that with the activity they will seal the province standing as the world’s major supplier of abaca hemp.
Also present in the event were local chief executives of the different municipalities, Engr. Dindo Martirez of Gigmoto, Vice Mayor Gregorio Salvador of San Andres and Engr. Fernandez of Bagamanoc as representative of mayors who were not able to attend the event, PBM Giovanni Balmadrid, Chief of staff Rudy Rojas as representative of Cong. Sarmiento, Office of the Provincial Agriculturist headed by OIC Provincial Agriculturist Nelia B. Teves, PhilFIDA Catanduanes lead by Provincial Fiber Officer Lorgen Z. Garcia, Municipal Agriculturists, Municipal Agriculture and Fishery Council Chairpersons, abaca focal persons and representative of abaca farmers, heads of offices and line agencies. (Governor’s Office Information Unit)