As part of the initiative to assist the farmers and fisherfolks affected by the conflict in Marawi, the Department of Agriculture through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) will seed five million fingerlings of indigenous and non-invasive fish species in Lake Lanao.
Under the Balik Sigla sa mga Ilog at Lawa (BASIL) Program, DA-BFAR will seed fingerlings to some parts of the 35,000-hectare Lake Lanao to help the rehabilitation process of Marawi.
“While there is conflict in that area, we also have to prepare for the rehabilitation of Marawi,” Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said.
Pinol said that he is closely coordinating with the Department of National Defense (DND) on this project.
“We will only seed secure areas of Lake Lanao,” he said.
The Secretary added that there are areas of Lake Lanao that are good for seeding and are far away from battle.
He also committed to provide 500 fishing boats to fisherfolk of Marawi in the next 3-4 months.
The agri chief also announced that the DA has successfully turned over P10M funding assistance, to the farmers and fisherfolk of Marawi under the Survival and Recovery (SURE) loan program.
Under SURE, farmers and fisherfolk can avail loans of up to P25,000/ family. The DA has initially released P5,000/family.
The remaining P20,000 is non-collateral and payable for 2 years.
Agriculture Undersecretary fro Special Concerns Ranibai Dilanggalen has been leading the DA team in-charge of the distribution of relief goods not just for the evacuees but also for the soldiers detailed in Marawi.
“Currently, there are about 100,000 food packs to be turned over with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Arm Forces of the Philippines (AFP). These are all halal products,” Dilanggalen said.