DA holds Farmers & Fisherfolks’ Forum in Barobo, SdS
By Jennifer P. Gaitano
BUTUAN CITY, Nov. 8 (PIA) – From his appointment in Barangay Wakat, Barobo, Surigao del Sur as guest of honor for the Turn-over Ceremony of the Municipal Fishport and Ice Plant, Secretary Proceso J. Alcala of the Department of Agriculture (DA) on Friday met the farmers and fisherfolks and addressed their issues and concerns, and guaranteed for more projects.
In a forum held at Barobo Gymnasium, Surigao del Sur, Sec. Alcala expressed his thanks to all the people’s organizations composed of farmers and fisherfolks for patiently waiting for his arrival in Barobo, Surigao del Sur as his flight from Manila to Butuan on Friday morning was delayed. He also acknowledged all the local officials of said municipality and DA-Caraga officials for its effort in coming up with the establishment of Municipal Fishport and Ice Plant, and for continuously addressing issues and concerns of the said sector in the region.
Alcala relayed that President Benigno Aquino III instructed him to take good care of the farmers and fisherfolks in Caraga region. "I was clearly directed by Pres. Aquino when we were in Davao City yesterday to take good care of you and address your concerns," he said.
The secretary cited the importance of being registered as farmer in the department and as fisherfolk in the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).
"We are asking all our farmers and fisherfolks to register at DA and BFAR so you will receive whatever benefits that the government has provided for you. We are also encouraging you to increase backyard gardening in your community to improve your livelihood," highlighted Alcala.
As he discussed plans for the sector, Sec. Alcala shared that the department will conduct training to the fisherfolks. "The department will teach you how to make fiber glass so you can make your own fiber glassed-boats for fishing. The department with BFAR have allocated budget for this effort," he bared.
"The national government needs the full cooperation and support of the local government to really enforce laws that protect the rights of the farmers and fisherfolks and provide them the benefits they deserved. In the same way, we also need the support and participation of our farmers and fisherfolks so we can work together and plan on how the government can serve you better," Alcala added.
Alcala further mentioned that he will discuss with Surigao del Sur Gov. Johnny Pimentel the establishment of an Agro-Industrial Hub so said sector can have more resources and livelihood.
Also, as part of the long term solution to the barriers in transporting farm produce, Alcala emphasized that the government has included in its target the concreting of farm to market roads in all areas in the entire Philippines.
Meanwhile, Barobo Municipal Mayor Felixberto Urbiztondo asked all the people’s organizations in his municipality to work together with the local government. "Let's not only work for our individual success but also for the next generation to come," he expressed.
Before the forum ended, the farmers and fisherfolks received several gifts from the department thru a raffle draw with the following items: 15 bags of black rice, 15 bags of Green Super Rice, one unit Rice Thresher, one unit Floating Tiller, 10 bags of Corn, 100 heads of Kabir chicks, five heads of draft animals with implements, and 10 units of Marine Engine. All these items are worth 519,580.00. (JPG/VLG/NCLM/PIA-Caraga)