ABUYOG, Leyte – After more than a month since they received several farm machineries and equipment from Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella III and Senator Imee Marcos during their recent visit to Eastern Visayas, Rodrigo Alumbro, president of the Canmarating, Odiongan, Pagsang-an, Sulpa Irrigators Association (COPS-IA) still cannot believe that they got that much assistance from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
Alumbro shared that they received farm machineries and equipment more than what they had expected. He added that aside from the farm machineries and equipment that they received, they were also provided with grass cutter which are of big help to them maintain their irrigation canals.
After the more than half a million worth of assistance were turned over to them by Estrella and Marcos, Alumbro called a meeting with the officials of the COPS-IA to discuss the operations and maintenance of the said farm machineries under the guidance of DAR development facilitator Percival Maballo.
According to Alumbro, COPS-IA has 107 rice farmer members including 55 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) tilling a combined area of 181 hectares of rice fields.
Chief of the Program Beneficiaries Development Division (PBDD), Melecia Ong, disclosed that COPS-IA, based in this town, is one of the two initial agrarian reform beneficiaries organization (ARBO) recipients in Eastern Visayas of package of support services, which include farm machineries and equipment, under the Sustainable and Resilient Agrarian Reform Communities (SuRe ARCs) program.
Ong further disclosed that aside from these machines, COPS-IA will also be receiving soon a hauling truck, which the ARBO can use in transporting their produce.
She explained that SuRe ARCs program with P16-billion funding for its implementation nationwide aims to improve the production in areas under major crops and eventually have increased income both for the ARBO and the ARBs by providing them the necessary assistance.
Ong stressed that this is in support of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s food security program. This is also in line with Estrella’s nine primary goals which include farm mechanization and capacitating the ARBOs, she added.
(JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA/PR)