Poe to LGUs: Provide cash-for-work opportunity for farmers affected by drought
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Grace Poe on Thursday urged local government units (LGUs) to implement cash-for-work programs to give temporary relief to farmers affected by El Niño.
Poe said LGUs have a big role in extending assistance to farmers whose livelihood is at risk due to the dry spell.
“Dapat magbigay ng cash-for-work sa panahon na naghihintay ang ating mga magsasaka ng pagkukunan ng kita,” Poe said in a statement.
(There should be cash-for-work at the time when our farmers are awaiting other source of income.)
“Puwede silang magkaroon ng trabaho mula sa local government sa tulong na rin ng national government,” she added.
(They can have work from the local government through the help of the national government.)
The Department of Agriculture (DA) earlier announced that around P1.33-billion worth of agricultural damage have been recorded as of March 19, due to the effects of El Niño.
It added that 78,348 metric tons worth of farm output and 70,353 hectares of agricultural land have been damaged, affecting 84,932 farmers across 14 regions.
In North Cotabato alone, P670-million worth of agricultural products have been damaged.
Several areas have already declared a state of calamity due to the dry spell, including Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Sibugay, Pagadian City, Kidapawan City, five towns in North Cotabato, and San Jose, Occidental Mindoro.
Meanwhile, several provinces are poised to declare a state of calamity as the effect of El Niño is expected to worsen in the coming weeks
Poe said the calamity fund of the LGUs may not be adequate in sustaining the farmers’ needs following the loss of their crops.
“May calamity fund ang bawat LGU kaya lang hindi sapat at hindi naman kasya sa lahat ng magsasaka na mawawalan ng ani,” she said.
She pointed out that LGUs must also coordinate with concerned national agencies to ensure that irrigation systems reach farmlands.
The cash-for-work aid could augment the government’s existing intervention programs for El Niño such as farmers’ loans, seed and fertilizer assistance, cloud seeding and crop insurance, the senator said. /jpv
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