PBBM leads distribution of various government aid to Bicolano fisherfolks and farmers

In his speech during his visit in Albay on Friday, June 7, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. assured the Bicolanos that the government remains vigilant and supportive of regional development. He highlighted the acceleration of several infrastructure projects in various regions such as the port projects in Tabaco, Malinao, Tiwi, and Bacacay in Albay, andthe Roll-On/Roll-Off (RoRo) Terminal Port Expansion project in Sorsogon. The President also announced upcoming port projects in Catanduanes, Masbate, and Sorsogon.

PBBM emphasized the prioritization of port facilities to address the high transportation costs faced by farmers, which often erode their potential earnings. He explained that enhancing port infrastructure would streamline the process of moving agricultural products from small towns directly to markets, reducing the need for multiple transfers.

“Kaya po namin binigyan ng prayoridad ang mga puwerto dahil nakikita namin ang lagay ng ating mga magsasaka, kung minsan, kung ano man ang kikitain sana ng ating mga magsasaka ay nauubos dahil napakamahal para ilipat ‘yung inyong produkto at dadalin sa mercado,” Marcos stated

During the occasion, PBBM led the distribution of Presidential Assistance to Farmers and Fisherfolk and Families (PAFF), to selected Bicolano farmers and fishermen from Albay, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, and Masbate directly affected by El Niño at the Albay Astrodome.

“Naglaan po ang Tanggapan ng Pangulo ng mahigit isang daang milyong pisong (Php 100,000,000) halaga ng assistance para sa mga lalawigan ng Albay, Catanduanes, Masbate, at Sorsogon,” said President Marcos. The respective local government units will distribute the financial assistance of Php10,000 to each identified farmers affected by El Niño.

He also added the policy being adopted by the government, “ang aming ginagawa kapagka may programa mayroon po kaming ina-adopt na polisiya na tinatawag whole-of-government approach. Ang ibig sabihin po ay pagka may programa kaming gagawin hindi namin iniiwan lamang sa isang departamento at kailangan natin ng tulong ng mga iba’t-ibang departamento kaya’t pinagsasama-sama — pinagtutulungan po ng ibang department lahat”.

During the same visit, various presidential assistance were given out to the Bicolano farmers ranging from hybrid seeds, discount vouchers for fertilizers, high-value crops from the Department of Agriculture – Regional Office V, and machinery as well.

For the Bicolano fisherfolk, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) distributed various fishing instruments such as bottom set gill nets, fiberglass boats complete with accessories, gasoline engines with 7.5 horsepower, and 30,000 bangus fingerlings for bangus fisherfolk. Financial assistance of Php 10,000.00 for seaweed farmers was also provided.

Meanwhile, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) assisted Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) members by conducting payouts while the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) also awarded certificates of land ownership (CLOAs) to farmers from different provinces of the Bicol Region.

Among the recipients of machinery was Orlando Vibar, representing an organization of 435 farmers in Polangui, Albay. He stated that the new tractor would significantly aid his members, who currently use kuliglig, a two-wheeled tractor, to till their land. With kuliglig, a day’s work can till half a hectare, whereas the tractor can cover one hectare in an hour.

“Maraming tulong sa amin ito kasi kahit tuyo ang lupa kayang bungkalin’, Vibar stated.

Efren Mias, a 69-year-old farmer from Castilla, Sorsogon, says that all of his crops have dried up due to El Niño phenomenon. The severe weather pattern has left his farm without any water irrigation. Mias is thankful to be among the 5,000 beneficiaries of the livelihood assistance today, saying it will be a significant help for his family. 

IMG 9631
IMG 9640
IMG 9647