PRESS RELEASE
May 11, 2017

DA 12 KICKS-OFF FARMERS & FISHERFOLKS' MONTH

Pigcawayan, North Cotabato. A motorcade around the main thoroughfares here signaled the official launch of this year's Farmers and Fisherfolks' Month.

DA 12 Regional Executive Director Milagros Casis led the activity on May 5, 2017 together with other DA 12 officers and staff, members of the Regional Management Committee (RMC) and local officials.

More than 1, 000 Pigcawayanons comprised mainly of farmers, fisherfolk, village officials, and teachers attended the occasion which was highlighted by the report of Director Casis narrating the different projects and interventions awarded by the DA 12 to Pigcawayan local government and farmer-groups in 2016 plus the projects that they will receive this year.

The lady director disclosed that last year, farmer-groups received P475-K worth of farm equipment from Rice Program and P3-M from Corn Program. High value crops farmers were also granted with P2.87-M worth of production support packages while Livestock Program gave livestock raisers P1.3-M worth of veterinary drugs and biologics.

“For this year, Pigcawayan will receive additional interventions from our banner programs, special projects like the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD),” Director Casis said.

The regional office also completed the concreting of Balogo-Hacienda Maria farm-to-market road with a budget allocation of P4-M while for 2017, two FMRs were already funded for implementation. These are the concreting of Sitio Mangga-Upper Baguer P10-M budget allocation and concreting of Bulucanon-Pag-asa FMR with P700-K budget.

The concreting of New Igbaras-Patot FMR is also enlisted in the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP).

Pigcawayan receives 250 bags each of corn, palay seeds

DA 12 distributed 250 bags of certified palay seeds from the Rice Program worth P340-K and 250 bags of open-pollinated variety corn seeds worth of P335-K from the Corn Program.

The High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) also turned-over and committed P2.4-M worth of interventions. Fifty sets of garden tools plus 600 packs of assorted vegetable seeds were awarded to different schools.

HVCDP also committed additional production support assistance such as 50 pieces of plastic crates; 50, 000 coffee planting materials, 50,000 cacao planting materials, 20,000 rubber planting materials and 10, 000 calamansi planting materials.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) meanwhile turned-over thousands of Tilapia fingerlings to village chiefs as part of its Balik Sigla sa Ilog at Lawa or Project BASIL.

Farmer-director Bautista tells co-farmers to be proactive

Also highlighting the activity was the message of Regional Agriculture and Fishery Council 12 Chairperson Dionisio Bautista who was designated by the DA as a farmer-Director for the whole month of May.

“Huwag tayong umasa sa tulong ng pamahalaan bagkus ay kumilos tayo gamit ang ating sariling lakas para sa ikabubuti ng ating mga buhay,” he stressed adding that even if the government will pour in huge projects and interventions to them yet they will not also work hard, these projects will be useless.

Bautista also informed participants that the DA has been intensifying its campaign on rice hybridization to ensure that Filipino rice farmers can compete in the ASEAN regional integration and to prepare them for the lifting of the quantitative restrictions on rice this year.

This year’s theme is: Masaganang Agrikultura at Pangisdaan, Masaganang Bansa.

More activities are in the offing for the Farmers and Fisherfolks’ Month celebration this year as DA 12 has planned to hold series of seminars, exhibit & trade fairs as well as technology clinics.

The month-long celebration will be capped by the awarding of this year’s Gawad Saka regional winners.

The annual celebration anchored on Proclamation Number 33 signed by former President Corazon Aquino on March 21, 1989 as a recognition to the noble task to farmers and fisherfolk as food producers. (LMSalvo)