TANGCAL, Lanao de Norte, Aug. 1 (PIA)-- Interventions to develop agriculture here have been recently extended by the Department of Agriculture (DA)-10 in partnership with the Philippine Army (PA).
DA-RFO 10 Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado turned over 1 unit four-wheel drive, 95 horsepower farm tractor with implements (disc plow, trailing, harrow and trailer) amounting P2.7 million to the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, Armor Division thru Col Charlemagne F Batayola Jr MNSA PA, Deputy Brigade Commander, Philippine Army for the civil military operations of the 5th Mechanized Infantry Battalion, Armor Division, PA thru its Commanding Officer, LTC Alfonso DS Matias Jr CAV (GSC) PA.
"This activity is a big accomplishment of the Philippine Army in partnership with the DA. With their help, we are assured that all communities, especially the conflict areas will be provided with assistance, letting them know that there is a government who will help them," Collado conveyed to the farmers in Tangcal.
Aside from the provision of tractor, DA-10 provided the 5th and 4th Mechanized Infantry Battalion, each with 50 bags inbred rice seeds at 40 kilograms per bag, 25 bags open pollinated variety (OPV) corn seeds at 20 kg per bag, 150 packets 5-in-1 vegetable seeds and 60 packs forage seeds amounting P238,000 intended for farmers in said town.
The 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade as convergence partner in the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), requested said agri interventions for the implementation of agri-based livelihood projects in communities they cover as part of their efforts to reduce poverty and empower communities to end local armed communist conflicts.
Batayola said, "Natutuwa po kami na maging partner ang DA lalo na sa pagsulong ng adhikain ng gobyerno following the Whole-of-Nation Approach (EO No. 70). Hindi po namin kaya kung kami lang, kailangan namin ang lahat ng partners: stakeholders, NGOs, NGAs, private individuals, para maisulong natin ang AmBisyon Natin 2040, bawat tahanang Pilipino ay matiwasay, payapa at maalwa ang pamumuhay nila."
(We are happy that DA will become our partner especially in pushing for the government's goal in following the Whole-of-Nation Approch (EO No. 70). We can never do this alone, we need the all the partners: stakeholders, NGOs, NGAs, private individuals, so we can pursue the AmBisyon Natin 2040, where every Filipino home is in order, peaceful and comfortable.)
Through a Memorandum of Undertaking signed between DA and 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, Armor (Pambato) Division, strengthens the community-based socio-economic programs to reinforce social cohesion and preserve unity of communities.
Importantly, it addresses poverty and peace vulnerability in conflict-affected areas by providing livelihood and infrastructure projects.
Noting said efforts are in line on the operationalization of EO 70 or the Whole-of-Nation Approach signed by President Duterte that addresses the root causes of insurgencies, internal disturbances and tensions and other armed conflicts and threats by prioritizing and harmonizing the delivery of basic services and social development.
DA-RFO 10 provided farm equipment and machinery they requested as part of the DA and AFP collaborative efforts to bring government services closer to the communities.
Matias said, "Peace at development ay hindi lang nakasalalay sa military lang, kailangan ang bawat sangay ng gobyerno ay magtulong tulong para makaabot ang tulong sa mga nangangailangan. Basically, what is important ay matulungan sila at masustain ang farming with DA's help. "
(Peace and development should not only be relied on from the military alone, every branch of the government should help in giving assistance to those who are in need. Basically, what is important is that they are aided and farming is sustained with DA's help)
Collado also challenged the LGU to make use of said interventions to improve their lives, plant their own food, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic and to make food available in every household.
Tangcal Mayor Fatima M. Tomawis extended her appreciation, "Nagpapasalamat po kami sa DA na binigyan nga priority nila ang Tangcal para matulungan ang mga magsasaka at mapabuti ang pamumuhay nila (We are thankful to DA as they prioritized Tangcal to help the farmers and improve their means of living)."
Said town is one of the six priority Muslim municipalities in Lanao del Norte identified by DA-10 for agri development with 9,204 hectares agricultural land area and a potential area of 3,482 hectares.
At present, it has 2,632 registered farmers in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) with coconut as the major agri commodity, followed by vegetables, corn, rice and ginger. (DA10/PIA10)