GUIUAN, Eastern Samar – The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) reported that 500 farmers in this typhoon-ravaged town have already received seedlings for replacement of damaged coconut trees. Since farming is one of the primary livelihoods in the town, the PCA implements programs such as planting and replanting, inter-cropping, coconut fertilization, and clearing operations.

The planting and replanting program is an effort of the PCA to deliver coconut seedlings to local farmers. Around 500 farmers have already received seedlings since May. For inland areas, they were given 100 seedlings per hectare while the coastal and upland were given 192 seedlings, following the triangular method. Farmers were also given P3,000 per hectare planted under the cash-for-work scheme. “Based on our guidelines, there is what you call cash-for-work. We encourage the farmers especially the land owners to plant immediately,” said Ena Macasusi, municipal coconut development officer.

Macasusi informed that they do not limit on the number of beneficiaries for the program as long as they personally participate as she encourages all land owners and tenants, with the consent of their land owners, to avail the project. Farmers from Banahao, Timala, Bagua, Hagna, Surok, Sapao, Tagpuro, Barbo, Pagnamitan, Cagdara-o, Alingarog, Bucao, Cantahay, and the islands of Tubabao and Homonhon already received these seedlings.

Until now, PCA continues to deliver seedlings to red soil areas. These seedlings come from other parts of Eastern Samar that were not affected by the super typhoon. “There are so many who have already planted the seedlings. It is better to plant during rainy season because the soil is moist and there is a source of water,” Macasusi informed. The PCA team checks the status of the planting and replanting of farmers twice weekly. She hopes that the number of beneficiaries will increase soon as the national government provides more support. (REINALORE P.GUIMBAOLIBOT, LNU Intern)