Some 34,000 farmers and fisherfolk in Negros Occidental received cash and food subsidy, worth P5,000 each, under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2) response of the national government to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis.
Implemented by the Department of Agriculture, the assistance was given to corn, coconut, and sugarcane farmers, and those engaged in fishing.
More than 20,000 rice farmers in the province received a similar aid under the Bayanihan 1 earlier this year.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar and Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson led in the turnover rites held at the Panaad gymnasium in Bacolod City yesterday.
“One of our priorities under the Bayanihan 2 is the cash and food assistance to non-rice farmers,” Dar said.
Each of the 34,000 beneficiaries got P3,000 in cash, P1,000 worth of rice, and P1,000 in chicken and eggs, for a total amount of P170 million.
They were identified through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Philippine Coconut Authority, Sugar Regulatory Administration, and the DA Corn Program.
To receive the assistance from the national government, recipients should be registered in the Registry for Basic Sector in Agriculture and have not received aid under the Social Amelioration Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Agrarian Reform, and other emergency assistance.
Dar said the department has allocated P4.5 billion for the cash and food subsidy set to benefit almost 890,000 non-rice farmers across the country.
One of the recipients, Sammy Nacion, of the Manga Fisherfolk Association in Sagay City, thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for providing assistance to farmers and fishermen like him.
Under the Bayanihan 2, Dar said the DA is implementing programs under three components. These are the social protection and amelioration support to farming and fishing communities, enhancement support programs to increase farm productivity, and income-generating support programs, such as the construction of farm-to-market roads, establishment of farm markets, and agri-industrial business corridors, and provision of logistics support.*PNA