MARAWI CITY―The government has released a huge agriculture aid package to farmer groups of Lanao del Sur’s 40 municipalities to fast-track the province’s recovery from both manmade and natural disasters, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao said Monday.
Lanao del Sur Governor Bedjoria Soraya Alonto Adiong said the assistance released by DAF-ARMM would boost the province’s recovery program, after its economy stood still with the government’s five-month war against terror, mostly in this city.
Last week, the provincial government also distributed rice to families displaced by the war in Marawi City and Butig, and to victims of natural calamities when tropical storm “Vinta” hit five more towns.
“But this time, we want our farmers to help the country produce rice and corn amid fears of widespread shortage of supply,” the governor said.
DAF Regional Secretary Alexander Alonto Jr. said a total of 3,000 bags of hybrid rice seeds with 6,000 bags of urea fertilizer were being delivered to mostly lakeshore municipalities whose farmers produce rice on vast irrigated areas.
Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said the truckloads of rice and corn seeds, along with the tons of urea, formed part of a whole recovery program designed and currently pushed for Marawi and nearby areas by the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Deliveries have been ongoing since last week, Alonto said.
At least five towns of the province were also severely affected by “Vinta.” A total of 25 persons were found dead and scores other injured when the storm struck Lanao del Sur in December, according to the Provincial Disaster Risk-Reduction Management Office.
In nearby Lanao del Norte, 38 perished, and 34 others were reported dead in Zamboanga del Sur.
Dr. Albert Usman, DAF-ARMM Seeds Coordinator, said 2,800 more bags of certified rice seeds, 600 bags of registered rice seeds, and 4,500 bags of OPV white corn seeds have been delivered to Lanao del Sur for its upland agricultural areas.
Meanwhile, Governor Alonto-Adiong said she wanted to equip all 41 municipal DRRMO “in compliance with Martial Law Instruction No. 1… to ensure the safety of responders and the general public at all times.”
Alonto-Adiong said well-equipped MDRRMOs will enable residents up to the village level “to conduct simulation exercises” more effectively.
She said local disaster offices should also be capacitated to precisely observe weather conditions, and that they should develop capability “to report (any obtaining situation) to a larger group or organization.”
Provincial Agriculture Officer Pangalian Balindong Jr. said all of Lanao del Sur’s 41 municipalities, including this city will benefit from the agricultural seeds support.