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PIA Press Release

These are times to be heroes, DA exec urges Cagayan Valley agriculture workers

by Ben Moses Ebreo

Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya (February 19) -- A top executive of the Department of Agriculture(DA) has encouraged its field workers in the region to work seriously in helping farmers and fisherfolks who are affected by the El Nino phenomenon.

"It is easy to give up but these are the times that we are needed in showing our unwavering work. We might be accused of politicking but let us be true to our work and in listing the proper beneficiaries. These are the real times to become heroes," challenged Lawyer Bernie Fondevilla, DA undersecretary and chief of staff Firday (February 19).

Fondevilla made a brief attendance to the joint regular meeting of Municipal Agriculture Officers(MAOs) of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino provinces to map out and assess affected areas of the dry spell and identify required assistance for the affected farmers and fisherfolks in both provinces.

The meeting was also attended by DA regional personnel and other allied agencies of the agriculture department at the function room of the provincial capitol building here.

Fondevilla is set to visit drought ? affected provinces of Cagayan Valley region, particularly Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela, Quirino and Cagayan.

The provinces of Cagayan and Isabela have been declared under state of calamity due to the huge losses it has incurred on its agricultural crops and fishery resources brought by the El Nino phenomenon.

The undersecretary also urged national and local agriculture workers to fast track the identification of farmers affected by the dry spell in the region.

Fondevilla however cautioned agriculture workers to limit their masterlisting for those who are really victims of the dry spell and worthy of government rehabilitation assistance.

"Let us limit our masterlisting to those who are really affected because we have only limited resources and budget," he stressed.

Fondevilla was accompanied by some member-agencies of the national El Nino Task Force such As the Bureau of Soil and Water Management (BSWM), National Food Authority (NFA), National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS)and DA regional director for Cagayan Valley Andrew Villacorta.

For his part, Villacorta also appealed to local government units to share their available resources in augmenting the limited assistance of the agriculture department.

He said the small amount of rains brought by cloud seeding operations did not provide sufficient water requirements of agriculturl and fishery resources in the region.

"In fact, the extent of damage by the drought in the region is getting bigger with 16,000 metric tons on rice and 5,600 metric tons on corn as production losses," he added. (PIA NVizcaya) [top]

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