The administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has delivered on its commitment to bring agricultural products straight from the farmers to the consumers through a partnership between the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of National Defense (DND), which has mobilized the Philippine Army (PA) for this initiative.

With the assistance from the PA’s 7th Infantry Division, the DA transported a total of 590 sacks of rice (packed into 25kilos per sack), 800 kilos of tomatoes, 50 kilos of red onions and 25 kilos of white onions to the Jesus Lord of Divine Mercy Parish in Novaliches, Quezon City.

Five Army trucks and one DA-Kadiwa truck delivered the fresh produce to Novaliches all the way from Nueva Ecija, a province known for agricultural crops such as rice, onion, garlic and tomatoes.

According to DA Assistant Secretary James Layug, the initiative forms part of the effort of the government to assist and provide logistics to farmers and other food producers.

“Ito ay by-product ng effort natin ng market linkage.”

“Ito ay by-product ng effort natin ng market linkage, iyong pagtulong natin sa magsasaka mula sa doon sa farm ng kanilang mga produkto diretso sa mga retailers or consumers,” Layug explained.

The initiative, he said, was made possible through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in December between the Diocese of Novaliches and the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) – Caritas Philippines Foundation, Inc.

The agreement states that the Caritas and its communities will benefit from DA’s programs, projects and grants, and will receive support such as logistics, financing, capacity-building and manpower, among other forms of assistance.

“Ito ay bunga ng ating Memorandum of Understanding with the Diocese of Novaliches at Caritas, kay Fr. Tony Labiao Jr., na iyong parokya willing na silang diretsong bilhin iyong mga produkto ng magsasaka galing sa Nueva Ecija diretso na sa mga parokya nila. I-disdtribute sa kanilang mga parishioners,” Layug pointed out.

In addition to the Nueva Ecija farmers, Layug said the DA will also provide logistical assistance to onion farmers of the two provinces of Mindoro island.

“Naka-programa na rin tayo sa Mindoro kasi mag-start na ang harvest at peak season.”

“Naka-programa na rin tayo sa Mindoro kasi mag-start na ang harvest at peak season. Isa ding problema doon ay iyong pag-transport muli,” the DA official said.

Layug noted that the DA is also planning for the transport of garlic from the island province of Batanes.

“Yung bawang sa Batanes, mag-start na din ang volume ng harvest kaya tutulungan din natin sila sa transport. Nakipag-ugnayan na tayo sa Philippine Navy at Coast Guard,” he said.

Aside from logistics, Layug stressed that that DA will also assist farmers in accessing cold storage facilities such as the Food Terminal Inc. (FTI), where they can temporarily store their produce. 



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