DSWD releases P4M to towns, cities hit by typhoon Mina | Inquirer News
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DSWD releases P4M to towns, cities hit by typhoon Mina

Farmers seek loan condonation, moratorium on rent, fees
/ 05:06 PM August 29, 2011

MANILA, Philippines—The government has released over P4 million to help families affected by typhoon Mina (international name: Nanmadol), according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Soliman, in a statement, said the department has sufficient funds and relief materials on standby to help affected local government units get back on their feet.

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Part of the money that the government released would serve as augmentation assistance to local government units. As of Monday, P621,226 worth of augmentation assistance has been deployed to the cities and municipalities who felt the wrath of Mina.

In Cagayan Valley (Region 2), whose provinces bore the brunt of the typhoon, the DSWD has provided clothing packs, blankets, towels, plastic mats, water jugs, mosquito nets, tents, candles and family kits.

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In the Ilocos (Region 1), the DSWD has distributed relief goods and other forms of augmentation assistance.

Region 2 also reported the most number of damaged houses at 763, with 729 houses reported as partially damaged and 34 destroyed.

The DSWD said Mina displaced 53,603 families, or 221,061 persons. A total of 1,215 families are in 28 evacuation centers in Luzon.

The department said it has been working with the concerned local government units to assess Mina’s impact and see to it that affected families get the kind of help they need.

Meanwhile, the militant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas called on officials to implement a condonation program for farmers affected by Mina, and to have a moratorium on amortization, land rent and irrigation fees.

“Farmers are yet to pay for debts due to previous calamities and high costs of production. The devastation wrought by typhoon Mina will surely place our farmers deeper in debt,” KMP secretary general Danilo Ramos said in a statement.

The KMP said it had received reports that 1,420 hectares of palay and 596 hectares of corn in Cagayan, worth about P10 million, were destroyed by Mina’s furious winds. It also said that in Isabela, 2,000 hectares of palay and corn farms were damaged by flood and strong winds.

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Ramos said farmers’ arrears and penalties should be condoned, while payments for amortization, land rent and irrigation fees should be temporarily stopped to allow them to recover from this latest disaster.

Ramos also said that farmers had been turning to loan sharks to have money to grow crops because the government has not been supporting them enough, and because funds for agriculture have fallen prey to massive corruption.

Ramos said direct production subsidies should be given to farmers affected by Mina. The subsidy could be coursed through farmers’ organizations and cooperatives instead of local government officials and lawmakers, he added.

“Unlike the infamous multibillion-peso fertilizer fund scam that went through bureaucratic corruption and nonexistent NGOs, genuine farmers’ organizations and cooperatives are in a better position to extend the benefits of the funds even to non-members,” Ramos said.

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TAGS: Department of Social Welfare and Development, Disasters, Mina, relief operations, Typhoon, Weather
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