STA. MARIA, Davao Occidental, May 29 - The Department of Agrarian Reform in Davao Occidental has prepared P1.4 million worth of goods for distribution to 908 pre-qualified agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBS) in the province.
The provision of goods to farmers is under the agency's project called "PassOver: ARBold Move for Deliverance of ARBs from the COVID-19 Pandemic", as DAR's response to mitigate the impact of the deadly virus.
The packages will come in three components: 1) Food/Non-food packages worth P205,000 to be given to 411 ARBS; 2) Farm Productivity Support worth P1.043 million for 482 ARBs; and 3) Livelihood Support worth P225,000 to be provided to 15 women ARBs.
Agrarian Reform Program Officer (PARPO) Sonny Lomongo said he hoped to finish distribution of the food/non-food items this weekend and the production starter kits by early June, even as personnel moved overtime in the procurement, repacking and distribution activities.
"We cannot just sit still, we will have to do our part to alleviate the suffering of our ARBs who have been rocked by series of earthquakes, and now this pandemic," Lomongo stated.
He clarified, however, that the ARBs were pre-qualified according to the rules outlined in DAR Memorandum Circular No. 15 series of 2020, hence not all ARBs can become a recipient.
The food/non-food packages include rice, canned goods, noodles, bath soap, surgical masks and Vitamin C, while the farm productivity support includes seeds, fertilizer and farm implements.
The livelihood support to women is a starter kit for poultry-raising.
The objectives of the PassOver project are: to facilitate the flow of supply of food products produced by ARBs; provide support to ARBs for continuous production of cash crops & vegetables to generate income; and provide alternative livelihood opportunities to women ARBs for additional income sources.
The project also intends to provide supplemental food for sustenance of poor ARBs who were not served by the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) and to provide supply for ARBs for their personal hygiene and protection.
The DAR was given the go-signal to realign funds for the purpose under Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act. (DAR-Davao Occidental/Yadz Geyrozaga with report from Eric James Alcala)