In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) of Agusan del Norte rolled out a total of P3,297,398.00 worth of assistance, as support to agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) amidst this this time of devastating crisis.
Tagged as “The PASSOver: ARBold Move for Deliverance of our ARBs from the COVID-19 Pandemic (ARBold Move), the project is the agency’s response in accordance with the provision of Republic Act 11469 of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
DAR Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer for Agusan del Norte, Andre B. Atega, CESO V, said Republic Act 11469 is a response to the urgent need to help in the economic situation of the farmers, the swift and efficient implementation of which would secure the success of the measures established by the national government in eradicating the threat from the COVID-19 and ensure its national survival.
“The agency’s contingency plan is aimed to support the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) who are considered as frontliners in food security,” Atega said.
Program Beneficiaries Development Division (PBDD) OIC- Chief Agrarian Reform Program Officer, Ellen J. Torralba, said the allotted fund covers four (4) main components, “The four components include (1) Support to ARBOs as frontlines in the Food Supply Chain during pandemic, (2) Farm Productivity Assistance to ARBs the includes seedlings and farm inputs, (3) Livelihood Support for Women during the pandemic and (4) Package of Supplemental Food and personal hygiene products,” Torralba said.
As a starter, the DAR provincial and municipal task force of this province conducted series of distribution of relief goods to 2,307 ARBs. The relief goods contain four kilos of rice, three canned goods, four noodles and other household needs such as two bath soaps, 20 pieces of vitamin C, and three face masks.
During the distribution, agrarian reform farmers expressed their gratitude to the DAR’s response to help the farmers who painfully felt the effects of the recession.
Torralba emphasized that the second and third components which are the farm productivity and livelihood support is scheduled for distribution this month to different agrarian reform communities in the province.
A total of 683 ARBs will be provided with farm productivity assistance worth Php2,165.00 pesos each to ensure that their agricultural production and livelihood will continue during this public health crisis,” Torralba added.
For the last component of the project, Torralba said 15 more ARB women were chosen to receive livelihood support worth P15 thousand per women for their hog raising activity.