June 10, 2017| Saturday
The Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources have started their delivery of food aid to the thousands of evacuees from the Marawi conflict, including special provisions for the soldiers and policemen involved in the operations.
After arriving at the Iligan City Port from Siquijor Island yesterday, I and the DAF Biyaheng Bukid team proceeded to the logistics center in Linamon, Lanao del Norte to turn over the food aid brought in by five DA and BFAR regional offices.
The items turned over to the officials of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) included newly-milled rice and corn grits, dried fish, canned goods and bottled water.
From Linamon, the team proceeded to the Baloi Evacuation Center in Baloi town, Lanao del Norte also to turn over the goods to the evacuees.
Food provisions support to the operating troops in the area was also turned over to representatives of the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police.
The food items came from the savings of the DAF regional offices and contributions of officials and employees.
In my message delivered before the turn over, I explained that while it is not within the mandate of the agriculture department to give out food aid, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries decided to extend food assistance because many of those displaced by the conflict were farmers and fishermen from Lanao del Sur.
Aside from the food aid, each farming and fisher folk family was promised a P5,000 loan assistance under the Survival and Recovery Loans Program of the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) of the DAF.
I told the evacuees in Baloi that as soon as things have settled down, the farmers and fishermen affected by the conflict could apply for a no-interest, no-collateral Recover Loan of P20,000 per household for them to be able to rebuild their lives.