Farmers, fisherfolk hit by El Nino in Bicol receive gov't aid from PBBM

LEGAZPI CITY, Albay – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. distributed on Friday, June 7, government assistance to farmers and fisherfolk in the Bicol region affected by the El Nino phenomenon.



The distribution for beneficiaries from Albay, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, and Masbate was held at the Albay Astrodome here.

Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rex Gatchalian joined Marcos in distributing P10,000 cash aid to at least 5,000 beneficiaries under the agency's Ayuda para sa Kapos ang Kita Program (AKAP) that seeks to address inflation and protect the purchasing power of Filipino families.

Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. distributed hybrid rice seeds, fertilizer discount vouchers, and farm inputs.

Beneficiaries also received machinery and high-value crops from the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Bicol.

A total of P642,695,625.60 worth of various government aid such as hybrid rice and fertilizer discount vouchers was distributed to farmers in two provinces of Bicol – P182,787,963.60 in Albay and P459,907,662 in Camarines Sur – during the event.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) provided assistance to fisherfolk in Bicol, including bottom set gill nets, fiber boats with complete accessories and 7.5 horsepower gasoline engines, P10,000 cash assistance for seaweed farmers, and 30,000 bangus or milkfish fingerlings for El Nino-affected bangus operators.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) conducted payouts for Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) beneficiaries.

DOLE-Bicol officer-in-charge Imelda Romanillos said that 1,188 beneficiaries from 13 out of 70 barangays here received payouts amounting to P4,692,600 at the Bagumbayan Covered Court in Legazpi.

The Department of Agrarian Reform distributed Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) to farmer-beneficiaries from all provinces in Bicol.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos and Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado M. Estrella III were also present in the event.