Duterte distributes agricultural assistance to farmers in Region 12

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews /11 January) —  President Rodrigo Duterte led the distribution of cash cards and other agricultural machineries in Pigcawayan, North Cotabato, on Friday evening.

Engr. Mila Casis, regional director of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Region 12, said 100 farmers from Libungan received P5,000 cash each as part of the agency’s annual Rice Program.

Duterte also handed over at least PhP 58 million worth of farm inputs and machineries to more than 2,000 farmer-beneficiaries from at least four provinces in Region 12, also referred to as Soccsksargen.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte visits Pigcawayan in North Cotabato on Friday, 10 January 2020, to distribute agricultural assistance to farmers IN Region 12. MindaNews photo by GREGORIO BUENO

The region comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and the cities of General Santos, Tacurong, Koronadal, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

Cotabato City voted for inclusion in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in the plebiscite in January last year but has yet to be transferred to the BARMM.

Of the P58-M worth of projects,  the province of  Sultan Kudarat received PhP 19.4 million, North Cotabato, PhP 16.8 million; South Cotabato, PhP 11.7 million and Sarangani, PhP 10.1 million.

Among the farm inputs and machineries that DA-12 distributed were six mini four-wheel tractors; five rice harvesters; and 27 hand tractors.

Casis, in an interview, said the activity on Friday, showcased transparency of government’s programs and projects for farmers; build trust and confidence in the government; and demonstrate the direction of President Duterte’s Food Security Program.

Casis explained the farmers who received assistance from the national government were those affected by different calamities, including the severe drought that hit the province early last year; and the series of earthquakes in October.

Old and new farm machineries. Old and still serviceable. New for distribution. MindaNews photo by GREGORIO BUENO

With the President were Agriculture Secretary William Dar, Senator Christopher Lawrence Go, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Secretary Emmanuel Pinol, Governor Nancy Catamco and other local government officials from Region 12.

Duterte’s visit to Pigcawayan was the second in North Cotabato in two weeks.

On December 30, the President led the turnover of financial assistance and relief items to earthquake victims in M’lang town. (Malu Cadelina-Manar / MindaNews)