piñol manta“To bring the government closer to the farmers at the countryside”, this was the promised of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” F. Piñol’s Biyaheng Bukid Program, as he personally goes to upland areas and interacts with the farmers.

The Municipal Government of Dalaguete (MGD), Province of Cebu, spearheaded by Mayor Ronald Allan G. Cesante, CPA offered a warm “WELCOME” to Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel  F. Piñol, 2nd District Congressman Wilfredo S. Caminero, DA-RFO 7 Regional Director Atty. Salvador D. Diputado, LLM. Ph.D, and Party during their visit in Barangay Mantalongon, Dalaguete last August 18, 2017.

Sec. Manny F. Piñol and Party made a tour of the established Dalaguete Vegetable Trading Center in Mantalongon and followed by a Farmers’ Dialogue held at San Isidro Community Center (SICC).  Mayor Cesante expressed a word of thanks to Sec. Manny F. Piñol and to all who joined the activity. He presented the existing and proposed Agricultural Development Programs/Projects in the municipality and committed full support in the implementation of the Department of Agriculture Banner Programs/Projects. On the other hand, Congressman Wilfredo S. Caminero delivered his State of Agriculture in the Highlands of Southern Cebu and presented the proposed Improvement and Concreting of Mantalongon (Dalaguete) to Nug-as (Alcoy) Road. He also expressed appreciation to  the presence of Sec. Manny F. Piָñol and Party.

 Sec. Manny F. Piñol’s visit was his first official visit in the Visayas Region and Barangay Mantalongon, Dalaguete is the first place in the region he has ever visited since assuming his post.  His visit has left important notes to the lives of the farmers, as they are not just given the chance to interact with the Secretary, but as well as given rare opportunity to access the recent development programs of the National Government.  

During the short dialogue, Sec. Manny F. Piñol promised to provide farmers’ request to support food production and infrastructure projects. Out of seven (7) proposed projects requested by MGD, six (6) proposed projects (Improvement and Concreting of Mantalongon to Nug-as Road, Improvement of Mantalongon to Alegria Provincial Road, Additional 200 units of Rain Shelter for Dalaguete Experimental Farm, Establishment of Vegetable Farmer’s Training School and Upgrading of Agricultural Tramline 1) were committed by the Secretary. Aside from these, additional commitment were as follows: 30 pieces plastic drum, 30 rolls farm hose and 10 protection nets for Dumalan Farmers’ Association (DUMFA), five (5) Carabaos for Lahug Farmers’ Association (LAMFA) and a TWENTY MILLION  (P20,000,000.00 worth of Farm-to-Market Road (FMR) connecting Sitio Lapa and Sitio Grandchina in Mantalongon, with LGU’s commitment to allocate P 2,000,000.00 counterpart under Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP).

  In addition, Sec Manny F. Piñol has underscored financing as the major problem farmers are facing today. The key to productivity, according to him, is a loan assistance with less interest rate and not tedious to the part of the farmers. Hence, he committed to provide Farmer’s Credit Support Program, with an initial total amount of Eighteen Million Pesos (P 18,000,000.00) thru his Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) Program.  Per qualified farmer can avail a maximum loan assistance of Fifteen Thousand Pesos (P 15,000.00) with an interest rate of six percent (6%) per annum.

After the dialogue, DA-RFO 7 Regional Director Atty. Salvador Diputado, LLM. Ph.D, delivered his closing remarks. He expressed word of thanks to all who concerted efforts in making the activity a successful one. He encouraged everyone to support Department of Agriculture’s Programs/Projects geared towards food security and to the improvement of the farmers’ way of lives.

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