Sec. Piñol
Sec. Piñol

CATARMAN, Northern Samar- Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol was in Northern Samar on Thursday (Sept. 15) as part of his visit to the three provinces of Samar Island.
The Agriculture Secretary held a dialogue with officials, fisherfolks and local farmers who are still reeling from the devastation caused by typhoon ‘Nona’ that hit the province December last year.
During the dialogue Engineer Jenice Abobo, municipal agriculturist of Pambujan, aired the concerns of agriculture extension workers who are not receiving the benefits due them based on the Magna Carta for Agricultural Extension Workers.
She said that agriculture extension workers are not receiving their hazard pay reason why some of them do not report to work regularly.
Others have been inflicted by diseases like schistosomiasis in their field and yet they did not receive their hazard pay, Abobo said.
Piñol admitted that extension workers in the local government units are one of the most neglected in the government.
He said he will talk with Secretary Mike Sueno of the Department of Interior and Local Government to allow some of these extension workers to be detailed at the Department of Agriculture so they may avail of additional allowances.
Piñol pledged to give motorcycles to all 24 municipalities in Northern Samar for the use of the agriculture extension workers.
It was the first time that he will be doing this kind of assistance he said, as Northern Samar is a “special area”.
“Para sa mobility ng (agriculture) extension workers niyo… one motorcycle for each municipality,” he said, adding that he will find a way to source the funds from the capital outlay of their department.
For fishery extension workers, Piñol would be providing motorized bancas.
He ordered his staff to allocate for 300 motorboats for the Bantay Laot workers in the three provinces of Samar Island – 100 boats for each province.
After the dialogue, Piñol led the ceremonial distribution of agricultural machineries to local farmers and motorboats for the fishery sector.
All local government units received bags of complete fertilizers, Urea and animal health kits from the secretary.
Checks were also distributed to 59 coconut farmers as “indemnity” from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC).
Majority of the mayors here were also awarded checks for agricultural infrastructure projects in their town.
Piñol said he intends to end poverty in Samar within his term.