El Nino funds released: DA
The Department of Agriculture (DA) said it is intensifying efforts to protect farms and farmers from the effects of El Nino, which is expected to return to “neutral levels” by the middle of the year.
The DA, in a statement, said it has released P310 million from January to April to counter the effects of El Nino.
It said intervention came in the form of hybrid and certified seeds, fertilizers, soil ameliorants, shallow tube wells, pump equipment, biologics, cloud seeding operations, crop insurance and others.
It added that it allocated funds for small water impounding projects and diversion dams to complement the efforts of the National Irrigation Administration.
The DA said it has given Quick Response Funds totalling P207.57 million to regional field offices for the rehabilitation of farms.
The amount includes P60 million for Region 2, P9.16 million for Region 9, P21.86 million for Region 7, P14 million for Region 3, and P102.4 million for Region 12.
Another P31.7 million was allotted to the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao and is set to be released upon the execution of a memorandum of agreement between DA and ARMM.
The DA said P848 million has been distributed to its regional field offices for “programmed interventions” against El Nino.
It said Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala has ordered DA offices to heighten monitoring and validation to ensure speedy, timely and efficient delivery of basic agricultural services to its constituents.