DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo announced that DSWD Field Office X has already responded to the call of farmers from Bukidnon for rice subsidies.
According to media reports, thousands of farmers from Bukidnon immediately proceeded to the DSWD Region X office in Cagayan de Oro to demand three sacks of rice each for their families. This was after they joined mass actions in support of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA).
“We want to be able to respond immediately to our farmers’ requests for assistance. We urge farmers and their organizations to coordinate closely with our field offices and inform us in advance regarding their requests for rice subsidies and other forms of assistance so we can prepare and take action as required,” she said.
DSWD Regional Director for FO X Nestor Ramos sent a report to Sec. Taguiwalo and said that the FO was able to come up with an agreement with KASAMA Bukidnon, the farmers’ group, and last night provided the farmers with 4,000 sacks of rice for more or less 16,000 individuals. The rice was stored at the National Food Authority (NFA) warehouse in Valencia City.
As agreed, the representatives of the farmers’ group will submit to the DSWD FO X a list of the 16,000 beneficiaries from the municipality of Quezon and nearby cities in Bukidnon on July 28, 2016. This is to ensure that the rice subsidies will reach the correct beneficiaries who are in most need of the assistance. The rice assistance is equivalent to 25 kilos per family.
Sec. Taguiwalo said that the department aims to provide rice subsidies as well as other forms of assistance to the poorest of the poor and the neediest in the farmers’ sector, including those severely affected by El Nino and La Nina.
“We want to improve our system of distribution, and we ask the cooperation of our farmers so we can facilitate the release of rice subsidies and other assistance in the most efficient and fastest way possible,” she said.