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AGRI PARTY-LIST URGES QUICK RELEASE OF AID FOR MARING VICTIMS

The AGRI Party-list has called on the government to quickly release all available funds to help farmers and fisherfolk affected by Severe Tropical Storm Maring, which battered various areas in the country last week.

“We hope that the Department of Agriculture and other government agencies will quickly download all available funds so our farmers and fisherfolk could quickly get back on their feet,” AGRI Party-list first nominee and former judge Frank Lobrigo said.

The DA on Saturday revealed that 56,718 farmers and fisherfolk in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Mimaropa, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, and Soccsksargen were affected by Maring, with damages amounting to P1.74 billion.

Production loss was recorded at 91,422 metric tons affecting 68,137 hectares of agricultural areas, with rice, corn, high-value crops, livestock, fisheries, irrigation, and agri-facilities among the affected commodities.

“Sa gitna ng pandemya, napakahalaga ng papel na ginagampanan ng ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda sa pagsiguro sa pagkain ng bansa.”

“Sa gitna ng pandemya, napakahalaga ng papel na ginagampanan ng ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda sa pagsiguro sa pagkain ng bansa. Given their vital role, we must exhaust all means to help them recover and continue contributing to our food security,” Lobrigo said.

“Given their (farmers and fisherfolk) vital role, we must exhaust all means to help them recover and continue contributing to our food security.”

The DA announced that a diverse portfolio of assistance would be provided, including P172-million Quick Response Fund for the rehabilitation of affected areas, P296 million worth of available rice, corn, and assorted vegetable seeds ready for distribution to affected farmers, and drugs and biologics for livestock and poultry.

P370 million worth of insurance from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation has also been set aside to indemnify some 44,208 affected farmers.

As well, a total of P650 million is available for emergency loan assistance from the Agricultural Credit Policy Council. Those availing of the emergency loan can borrow up to P20,000 with no interest and no collateral, which is payable in 10 years.

AGRI Party-list was established in Davao City in January 2005 as a collective of farmers and fisherfolk. As member of the 17th Congress with two seats, the party-list had filed 228 bills and resolutions.

Among the agriculture-related bills it has filed that have been enacted are: Republic Act 10969 or the Free Irrigation Services Act, and RA 10845 or the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act.

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