DAPA, Surigao del Norte – A total of 200 farmers and fisherfolks in the Siargao Islands received assistance from the national government’s Aid and Humanitarian Operations Nationwide (AHON) Convergence Program on Thursday, July 1, 2021.
Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Thursday said that the government will provide more help to the towns of Dapa and San Isidro in Surigao del Norte as part of the goal of providing proactive response and actions to the needs of calamity-stricken communities, including those affected by the pandemic.
He noted that this is just the first wave of assistance for Siargao residents under the inter-agency initiative.
“The administration of President Duterte is full of action since he sat in office on June 30, 2016. Today, we’re celebrating the 5th year of this leadership that is full of action to respond to your needs,” he said in his message during the turnover of assistance.
“This is what President Duterte wants us to do, to take action and bring to you these assistance and help you recover from the negative impacts brought by the pandemic,” he added.
The Department of Agriculture provided vegetable seeds and a drip irrigation system project to farmers’ cooperatives in Dapa. The agency also pledged a P3 million financial grant under the Enhanced KADIWA ni Ani at Kita Financial Grant Assistance Program, on top of the request of the local government for patrol boats with engines and the establishment of an ice plant which was then approved.
The cooperative beneficiaries in San Isidro received bags of hybrid rice seeds from the DA. A farm-to-market road project was also allocated for the local government.
DA Assistant Secretary Kristine Evangelista stressed that the farmer and agriculture sector should not only be food producers of the community but also entrepreneurs so that they can increase their income.
“Dapat marunong magnegosyo ang ating mga fisherfolk, ang ating mga magsasaka. Gamitin niyo po ang mga binibigay ng pamahalaan at palaguin niyo [Our farmers and fisherfolks should also know how to do business. Use what the government has provided you with and make them grow],” she said.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), under its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) paid as much as P3,000 to 100 beneficiaries in Dapa and another 100 individuals in the town of San Isidro.
The Department of Trade and Industry also showcased their Pangkabuhayan para sa Pagbangon at Ginhawa (PPG) for those who wish to have additional assistance for the businesses of interested beneficiaries during the twin events. An on-site DTI business name registration was also facilitated.
“Ang approach ng gobyerno ngayon ay parang magkakapitbahay lang tayong lahat, at magkakamag-anak lang. Dahil ang gusto ni Preisdente Digong kahit saang parte ng Pilipinas, basta Pilipino ka ay kapatid kita at tutulungan kita. Walang pinipili,” DTI Assistant Secretary Reveree Niño Contreras said.
Dapa City Mayor Abeth Matugas said that the said assistance is a huge help for the families there and expressed her gratitude to representatives of national government agencies who personally turnover the assistance.
“Malaki ang naging tulong nila para sa ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda. Salamat sa pagbibigay ng mga ito sa aming mga taga-Dapa. Malaking tulong po ito para sa pang araw-araw namin,” she said.