Solon urges DA to improve disaster response program for farmers
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said that since the agriculture sector often sustains the biggest damage during calamities, the Department of Agriculture (DA) and other government agencies must improve their disaster response programs for farmers and fishermen.
“It has been raining and flooding for the past week. Every time this happens, our farmers and fisher folk are hardest hit. Nakakalungkot,” Pangilinan said.
“We thus exhort the DA and other related agencies to immediately come to the aid of our farmers who have lost their crops and fisher folk who have not been able to go out to sea,” he added.
Moreover, Pangilinan said the DA should make an inventory of the damage to agriculture and make available calamity relief assistance to the affected farmers and fisher folk.
“All concerned government agencies should come together and pool their resources to help our distressed countrymen, especially in areas that remain under water,” he said.
He also said that the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation, which as an attached agency to DA, must fast-track the release of funds to compensate the losses suffered by farmers, so that they can recover and plant again.
“Farmers should also gain access to the government’s seed assistance program consisting of aid package of assorted vegetable, rice, and corn seeds to help them make a quick turn-around from their crop losses,” Pangilinan said.
Meanwhile, he said the National Irrigation Administration, in coordination with local government units, should also provide temporary jobs to farmers and fishermen in the repair of damaged dikes and irrigation infrastructure to help them tide over the difficult times.