By Marie Tonette Marticio
TACLOBAN City – Some local government units (LGUs) in Eastern Visayas are ensuring not just the safety of the people during the enhanced community quarantine being implemented due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, but also helping the local farmers and workers displaced by the global health crisis.
In Arteche town, the northernmost part of Eastern Samar province, Mayor Roland Boie Evardone vowed to purchase the produce of rice farmers in order to sustain their relief operations for 4,503 households.
Evardone said they intend to buy 1,000 sacks of palay directly from the farmers for a higher price in order to help them augment their income.
Instead of buying it at P600 per sack, the LGU will buy them at P750 to P900.
The LGU will also provide free transportation to laborers and farmers so they would not be selling their produce at a higher price.
“We are coordinating with the vegetable farmers if they could also sell their produce to us as part of our intensification program dubbed as ‘One brgy, one gulay’ here in Artech,” he shared.
As to the displaced pedicab drivers, the mayor said they have temporarily hired them to help in delivering their relief goods to the households.
In Naval town, capital of Biliran town, Mayor Gerard Espina said they were also buying fish, root crops, and vegetables from their town and nearby municipalities for their weekly relief operations.
This week, they have purchased fish from Culaba and Cabucgayan, and vegetables from their town.
“Kada linggo mamimigay po ang LGU Naval ng relief goods sa lahat ng households. Binili po natin gulay sa mga local farmers at tuyo galing sa local fishermen para makadagdag sa kanilang kita sa panahon ngayon,” Espina shared.
He added that they would utilize the supplies from the local farmers to help the economy of the province before resorting to buying canned goods for their relief operations.
He explained that they were giving their relief goods weekly so that they would not be all consumed at once.
He also instructed their job order and regular employees who are at home to plant vegetables that will be distributed to indigents once they are ready for harvest.