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P500k granted to seaweed farmers of Oriental Mindoro

news reg 1 pix 1 march 10 2017CALAPAN CITY—Seaweed farmers of the Samahan ng Manggagawa sa Balatasan (SAMASABALATASAN) farmers’ cooperative are thrilled to receive from the Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro (PGOM) a P500,000 grant for the construction of their seaweed processing facility.

Provincial Administrator Nelson Melgar who handed the check to SAMASABALATASAN thru Chairman Constancio Mendoza together with the association's Board of Directors (BOD) and other stakeholders stressed out the benefits of convergence in order to resolve the needs of the community.

“We are now more inspired to continue what we started with all your (stakeholders) support, rest assured that we will do our part for the success of the project,” Mendoza said.

Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Marilou C. Baslan said the seaweed processing project of SAMASABALATASAN is under the Agrarian Reform Communities Project (ARCP) of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

Baslan said seaweed farming is the dominant economic activity in District 2 of Bulalacao, Oriental Mindoro. Seaweed processing was first introduced to District 2 under the national convergence initiative pursued by the DAR, Dept. of Agriculture (DA), Bureau of Fisheries, Dept. of Trade and Industry (DTI), Dept. of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and local government of Oriental Mindoro.

“Since the introduction of the seaweed project, the SAMASABALATASAN cooperative has developed five products made from seaweed, from which the farmer-members earn extra income,” Baslan said.

“In the study we conducted, we found out that their seaweed products like canton noodles, crackers, pickles and soaps, have big demand in the market. The construction of this processing facility would greatly help the farmer in meeting the demands of the market,” Baslan said.

Convergence of help from gov’t agencies 

The seaweed processing project of SAMASABALATASAN started in 2008 when the Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and the DAR, through convergence, conducted trainings on seaweed processing at ATI Building, Barcenaga, Naujan, Oriental Mindoro.

In 2009 the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) granted the association with a grant worth P264,000.00 for the improvement of the seaweed canton noodle project.  The amount was allocated for the noodle machine equipment, label, packaging and product analysis.

In support to the growing demand of seaweed, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) allotted P22,596 for the seaweed production project in 2010.  Cooperators then started planting seaweed in coastal areas of Bulalacao.  

DAR Senior Agrarian Reform Program Officer Ester Pagilagan said the farmers’ interest on seaweed grew due to its unique and rising demand of seaweed in the market.  

“Whenever they can’t sail to fish, especially during bad weather, this has been one of the alternative livelihood of fisher folks in coastal area of Samasabalatasan,” Pagilagan said.

“Some fish are seasonal, planting seaweed requires less capital and effort than planting other marine resources,” added Pagilagan.

Pagilagan said the seaweed farmers of the Barangay Balatasan and neighboring barangay such as Maasin also gain from this project as the association buys fresh and dried seaweed from them.

DAR’s help

The SAMASABALATASAN has received various funded programs from the DAR. Two of them were the Up-valuing Program in 2014 worth P230,000 and the Village Level Processing Center Enhancement Program worth P100,000 in 2012. These programs facilitated the first phase of construction of their processing building in a lot the association has acquired in Barangay Balatasan, Bulalacao. 

In 2016, DAR facilitated the release of P656,229.00 from the DOLE to be used for the procurement of additional equipment while the municipal government of Bulalacao also provided the association with a grant worth P175,000.00 for the construction of fence and facility for water source.

Targeting seaweed maximum potential, the DAR provided trainings on soap making (five variants), instant noodles with malunggay, seaweed pickles processing and seaweed shampoo processing and processing of seaweed crackers that created new products to market.

As new products at start needed improvements, the DA BAR granted an amount of 300,000 for product analysis, product enhancement trainings, label design and printing and packaging as well as organizational development trainings.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) then awarded the SAMASABALATSAN with P1,849,000 amount of equipments for the development of seaweed processing project.

The SAMASABALATASAN processing building is expected to be finished this year to be funded by the amount recently awarded by the PGOM.

“Kinakailangang tapos ang gusali upang makakuha sila ng permits and licenses from the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).  Sa ganitong paraan, mas mai-market nila ang kanilang produkto at tinatanaw na kikita ang negosyo ng organisasyon, mga regular na empleyado, mga miyembro at mga kababaihan na gumagawa ng produkto mula sa seaweed at maging mga magsasaka ng seaweed sa mga kalapit na lugar,” said Pagilagan. (pinky roque)

Photo: Provincial Administrator Nelson Melgar handed the check to SAMASABALATASAN thru Chairman Constancio Mendoza together with the association's Board of Directors (BOD) and other stakeholders.

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DAR, Marinduque farmers, LGU forge stronger commitment for a better future

news reg 2 pix 1 nov. 25 2016The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), the local government of Marinduque, and the farmer-beneficiaries of Buenavista town demonstrate their strong partnership through the launching of LinkSFarM or “Linking Smallholder Farmers to Markets” project in the said municipality.

LinkSFarm project, which aims to educate farmers on agro-enterprise, is being highlighted by the signing of memorandum of agreement (MoA) between the DAR, the farmers and local government.news reg 2 pix 2 nov. 25 2016

Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer (PARPO) Isagani Placido said the project is thoroughly planned, from improving their crop productions to improving their market connections, to help the farmer-beneficiaries become self sufficient. “The town of Buenavista is selected as the pilot community of LinkSFarm because the farmer-beneficiaries show great interest to improve the quality of their lives while the local government fully support them in their endeavors,” Placido said.

news reg 2 pix 3 nov. 25 2016The signatories form left to right: Buenavista Vice Mayor Hannillee Siena, Municipal Administrator Florentino Pinaroc, Sama-sama sa IKauunlad ng Kinabukasan ng Ating Pamumuhay (SIKAP) Farmer-leader Marino Median and PARPO Isagani Placido.


DAR probes killing of peasant leader in Palawan Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/819321/dar-probes-killing-of-peasant-leader-in-palawan#ixzz4LVwv7cj8 Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

inquirerTHE DEPARTMENT of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is looking into the cold-blooded killing of peasant leader Arnel Figueroa, who was shot dead last week by a government security guard at the disputed Yulo King Ranch (YKR) in Coron, Palawan province.

Agrarian Reform Undersecretary Luis Pangulayan said the DAR regional director, Rudy Pangilinan, and provincial officer, Conrad Guevarra, had been directed to confer with Figueroa’s family regarding financial and legal assistance.

Pangulayan added in a text message that the DAR was also in contact with Figueroa’s group, Pesante Pilipinas.

In memorandums dated Sept. 21 and submitted to Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano, Guevarra cited reports saying Figueroa was killed by Dan Nelson Mayo, a guard employed by the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) in the afternoon of Sept. 20.

Mayo, currently under police custody, has been accused of shooting Figueroa in the stomach, apparently at close range with a long firearm, during a dispute at the ranch in the resort town of Coron.

The incident was recorded in a cell phone video by a Pesante official.

The farmers have been fighting for their claim to part of the nearly 40,000-hectare property to be declared farmlands, saying it had always been devoted to agriculture, even before it was proclaimed a livestock center during the Ferdinand Marcos regime.

Outside CARP areas

But Guevarra, in his Sept. 22 report to Mariano, clarified that the shooting happened outside the area covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) and earlier distributed by the DAR.

He said the killing occurred in the 2,000-ha earlier committed by the Forest Management Bureau (FMB) in favor of the BAI.

Figueroa and several other members of Pesante Pilipinas Inc. were planting coconuts on their occupied area where an approximate 100 nipa huts had been erected, the report said.

“Within YKR are some 8,000 hectares of alienable and disposable public lands subject of request for coverage under the CARP by Pesante Pilipinas Inc. and several other groups like the Federation of Free Farmers, Kampi, Kasama-TK and other local groups in the area,” Guevarra said.

He said these lands had not been turned over to the DAR and remained with the FMB, which is under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The provincial DAR also found that Figueroa was not a farmer beneficiary of any landholding distributed in Palawan, but from the Almeda Estate in Barangay Cabacao, Abra de Ilog, in Occidental Mindoro province.

Hasten distribution

In a statement, Mariano said he had directed his officials to coordinate with the DENR to look into the petitions of farmer groups in the ranch.

“Rest assured, we will do our part to hasten the processes so that the land will finally be distributed to farmers,” he said.

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), previously headed by Mariano, condemned the killing of Figueroa.

“Farmers who assert their right to till through land cultivation activities are either killed, arrested and jailed or subjected to various forms of abuses,” said KMP secretary general Antonio Flores in the statement, citing other recent peasant killings in Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija, Isabela and North Cotabato provinces.

The absence of a genuine land reform program, Flores said, “has been capitalized by landlords and landgrabbers to strengthen control over the lands by attacking farmers using hired goons, security guards and state security forces turned private armies.”

Denial

In a statement, Jun Lozada, former head of Philippine Forest Corp., denied distributing part of the Yulo ranch to his relatives.

He said he resigned in February 2008, two years before the ranch was turned over to the agency.

“I was at that time already considered an enemy of the Arroyo government for being the whistle-blower on the NBN-ZTE scam and was under the sanctuary of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines. I did not distribute any public land, most especially a part of the Yulo ranch to any of my relatives,” Lozada said.

Source:http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/819321/dar-probes-killing-of-peasant-leader-in-palawan

DAR to help hasten land distribution of YKR lands

news REG 2 pix 1 sept.262016Agrarian Secretary Rafael Mariano has ordered the DAR field operations and legal officials to coordinate with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to fast-track the process of transfering to the DAR the Yulo King Ranch (YKR) in Coron, Palawan for distribution to farmer-beneficiaries.

Mariano has instructed DAR Undersecretary for Field Operations Marcos Risonar and Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs Elmer Distor to coordinate with the DENR to find out the facts on the petitions of  farmer groups in the Yulo lands.

Mariano said the YKR property is a vast track of land consisting of around 40,000 hectares under the Forest Management Bureau (FMB) of the DENR. Within the YKR are some 8,000 hectares, more or less, which are alienable and disposable public lands (A and D) subject of request for coverage under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) by PESANTE Pilipinas, Inc. and several other groups like the Federation of Free Farmers, KAMPI, KASAMA-TK and other local groups in Palawan.

“According to our documents, the more or less 8,000 hectares of Yulo lands that are subject for petitions by various farmer groups were not yet turned over to the DAR by the DENR. Therefore, the lands remain to be under the jurisdiction of the FMB of the DENR,” said Mariano.

“Although these A&D public lands can be the subject of future coverage under the CARP, it has to be first turned over to the DAR by the DENR through a Deed of Transfer and Memorandum of Agreement,” explained Mariano.

“The DAR is now looking into this matter. Rest assured, we will do our part to hasten the processes so that the land will finally be distributed to farmers,” Mariano said.

The YKR came into focus when Arnel Figueroa, a leader of farmer-group PESANTE in Coron was shot dead on Tuesday by Dennis Mayo, a security guard of the Bureau of Animal Industry. Reports said Mayo and several government personnel escorted by four Marines started uprooting crops the farmers have planted. Figueroa attempted to talk to them, but Mayo shot him at pointblank range which caused his death.

MIMAROPA Region News

news reg 1 pix 1 march 10 2017
March 10, 2017 45

P500k granted to seaweed farmers of Oriental Mindoro

CALAPAN CITY—Seaweed farmers of the Samahan ng Manggagawa sa Balatasan (SAMASABALATASAN) farmers’ cooperative are thrilled to receive from the Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro (PGOM) a P500,000 grant for the construction of their seaweed processing… Read More..
news reg 2 pix 1 nov. 25 2016
Nov 25, 2016 199

DAR, Marinduque farmers, LGU forge stronger commitment for…

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), the local government of Marinduque, and the farmer-beneficiaries of Buenavista town demonstrate their strong partnership through the launching of LinkSFarM or “Linking Smallholder Farmers to Markets” project in the… Read More..
inquirer
Sep 28, 2016 263

DAR probes killing of peasant leader in Palawan Read more:…

THE DEPARTMENT of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is looking into the cold-blooded killing of peasant leader Arnel Figueroa, who was shot dead last week by a government security guard at the disputed Yulo King Ranch (YKR) in Coron, Palawan province.Agrarian Reform… Read More..
news REG 2 pix 1 sept.262016
Sep 26, 2016 242

DAR to help hasten land distribution of YKR lands

Agrarian Secretary Rafael Mariano has ordered the DAR field operations and legal officials to coordinate with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to fast-track the process of transfering to the DAR the Yulo King Ranch (YKR) in Coron,… Read More..

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