KORONADAL CITY, Philippines — Deputy Speaker and South Cotabato 2nd District Rep. Ferdinand “DINAND” Hernandez participated in yesterday’s tele-dialogue of the members of the House of Representatives with Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar “to tackle the efforts and initiatives of the agency amidst the COVID-19 crisis.”
During the tele-dialogue, Congressman Hernandez said Secretary Dar told the participating congressmen that “the DA has continued its operations despite the community quarantine implemented in the country through skeleton and work-from-home arrangements.”
“The agency has created a COVID-19 Food Resiliency Task Force to ensure that the food supply in the country will remain undisrupted even with the limited trade between and among countries. Food passes were issued to suppliers for seamless movement of food and agri-fishery products.”
Apart from it, Congressman Hernandez said Secretary Dar also told them that “the DA has enforced price freeze for basic necessities and expanded the implementation of Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita to give consumers access to fresh farm produce at low prices. The agency has also distributed seeds and seedlings to local government units to encourage backyard planting as a way to augment the food supply in the country. Farmers and fishers affected by the community quarantine were also given financial assistance.”
“Sec. Dar also presented the agency’s supplemental budget request for the Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat Kontra sa COVID-19 (ALPAS sa COVID-19) Program amounting to P31 billion, which will fund projects and interventions aiming to enhance food production, availability, and affordability, as well as distribution of assistance and support to our farmers, fishers, and producers,” Congressman Hernandez said.
Congressman Hernandez said “the House of Representatives fully support the DA’s request for supplemental budget to protect the people from threats brought by COVID-19 such as food shortage, price inflation, and hunger. This situation has also stressed the importance of self-sufficiency and food security. As we transition and adjust to the new normal, it is imperative that we rely on our own produce instead of product imports.”
“Kaisa po kami ng Kagawaran ng Agrikultura sa pagtugon sa pangangailangan ng ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda. Makakaasa po kayo na aming tututukan ang pagsasagawa ng mga batas na makatutulong upang mabigyang solusyon ang mga suliraning ating kinakaharap sa kasulukuyan,” Congressman Hernandez said. (RAMIL H. BAJO via MINDANAO DESK/PHOTO CREDIT TO REP. DINAND HERNANDEZ)
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