Farmers to benefit rehabilitation plan for Yolanda- Alcala

TACLOBAN CITY- Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said that P167.9 billion rehabilitation master plan for areas hit by supertyphoon Yolanda will have huge impact on their department’s assistance for farmers and fishermen. The Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan (CRRP) aims to build back better the resettlement, infrastructure, livelihood, and social services in 171 cities and municipalities ravaged by the powerful typhoon. According to Alcala, about P5 billion will be allotted to the Department of Agriculture and an additional P500 million for the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), an attached agency of the department. Alcala was in Tacloban City last November 4 to spearhead in the distribution of farm implements of the UMA-AHON initiative in the region coinciding with the first year anniversary of Yolanda. The Secretary handed over the implements which included tractors to mayors from Leyte and Samar. He lauded the farmers who are now in their second time of harvest through the efforts of the DA with the assistance of the Food and Agriculture Organization. However, Alcala emphasized that farmers should not rely on assistance alone but to establish their own seed banks to ensure the steady supply of certified seeds. In an earlier statement PARR secretary Panfilo Lacson said that plans, programs and activities (PPA) are projected to generate the recovery of the 171 affected cities and municipalities in 14 provinces and six regions known as the “Yolanda corridor” based on the principle of build back better by focusing on long-term, sustainable efforts to reduce vulnerabilities and strengthen capacities of communities to cope with future eventualities. (LIZBETH ANN A. ABELLA)