DAR Links Arms With PCA, CRS For Speedy Recovery Of Yolanda Surviving ARBs

dar web news pix 1 feb. 27 2014
GOOD news to agrarian reform beneficiaries who survived the wrath of super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), in partnership with the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and the Catholic Relief Service (CRS), is spearheading quick livelihood recovery initiatives for Yolanda survivors, hopeful that these would enable them to pick up the pieces and start a new life, following a nightmarish bout with the strongest typhoon that made a landfall in the country in recent history.

DAR Secretary Gil de los Reyes said the tripartite agreement seeks to help the typhoon-affected farming families dependent on coconut “to regain livelihood activities that would generate income, restore productivity and create new opportunities for better and sustainable rural employment.”

“The collaborative endeavor offers wide-ranging livelihood activities, such as cash for assets for clearing of farmlands and of access routes, rehabilitation of damaged coconut areas, and planting of short gestation crops,” De los Reyes said shortly after signing the memorandum of agreement with PCA administrator Euclides Forbes and CRS operations manager Omasa Espiritu at the DAR.

The initiatives, he added, focus on diversifying production in some villages in eight typhoon affected municipalities, namely: Palo, Tolosa and Tanauan in Leyte; and Lawaan, Balangiga, Giporlos, Quinapondan and Salcedo in Eastern Samar.

PCA administrator Forbes took one step further when he offered to triple the 50 seedlings that were originally intended for each farmer, bringing to at least one million the total number of seedlings that his office would provide as part of the intervention package for affected coconut farmers.dar web news pix 2 feb. 27 2014 400

Forbes added that the PCA would coordinate with the DAR at the provincial and municipal levels in the release of coconut and sweet potato planting materials, beneficiary validation and monitoring and project implementation.

The CRS, for its part, shall provide P3,600 compensation package for each beneficiary in exchange for services rendered in clearing certain space of farmland or access roads.

CRS operations manager Espiritu said the “cash-for-assets” package equivalent to 15 person-days for land preparation and initial planting, and debris clearing of access routes or affected farm lots would be based on agreed upon work norms and the clusters’ plans.

Espiritu said the CRS would also provide total package per beneficiary, consisting of P1,500 worth of vouchers/coupons for procurement of seeds and fertilizers and farm tools of their choice.

“We shall also deploy livelihood coordinators and agro-livelihood officers for each of the eight above-mentioned localities, as well as, volunteers to facilitate and monitor the progress and achievement of the project objectives,” she said.