Tubod, Lanao del Norte: More than 2000 farmers in the province are expected to benefit from the new types of machinery provided by the Department of Agriculture and Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech). Funded under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), the DA-PhilMech recently turned over 34 agricultural machineries with an estimated total cost of Php 44.2 M to 19 Rice Farmers Cooperatives and Associations of Lanao del Norte. Usec. Zamzamin L. Ampatuan, the Undersecretary for Regulations of the Department of Agriculture, personally attended the turnover ceremony with Director Carlene C. Collado, the Regional Director of Department of Agriculture Region X held at the Multi-Purpose Building, Capitol Grounds, Pigcarangan, Tubod last November 17,2021.
 
“It is the 3rd year of the distribution of different agricultural machinery of DA-PhilMech for the FCAs of this province, in which the first two were distributed last February this year. It is a 6-year program, so for the next three years, we will try to expand our circle to provide more help to the rest of the farmers in the province”, RD Collado said.
 
RD Collado also mentioned that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte recognizes the need to support the farmers, especially during adversities. With that and through Secretary William Dar, the DA will give additional cash assistance to 8,669 farmers in the province, with Php 5,000 each having a total of Php 43,345,000.
 
Mr. Jerry Enterina, (OSWAG COOP) Chairperson, one of the beneficiaries, said, “We are very grateful for the assistance provided by the government, with we can say that they have heard our requests and needs.”
“We should be the ones to thank you. You have been the backbone of our food economy. We are happy that DA is able to do its job, but there are also challenges that we can not do by ourselves. We have to get your cooperation and support”, Usec Ampatuan responded.
 
In his message, Usec Ampatuan acknowledges the active partnership of the Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte, especially the initiatives of Governor Imelda ‘Angging’ Quibranza Dimaporo and the support of the two Congressional offices led by Cong. Mohamad Khalid Dimaporo of the 1st district and Cong. Abdullah Dimaporo of the 2nd District. The turned-over types of machinery were Four-wheel Tractor, Hand Tractor, Floating Tiller, PTO Driven Disc Plow/Harrow, Walk-behind Transplanter, Riding Type Transplanter, Rice Combine Harvester, REcirculating Dryer, Impeller rice Mill, Single Pass Rice Mill, and DE Stoner.
 
As the father of peace of the province, Cong. Abdullah reminds everyone of the importance of unity and proper maintenance of entrusted machinery. “We must work together. That provided machinery will be useless if you don’t have a cable to operate and maintain it. If you properly manage and use ut, those will last for a long time, which will help everyone a lot.” Cong. Add said.
 
Meanwhile, Governor Dimaporo extends her genuine gratitude to the Department of Agriculture – PhilMech and Senator Cynthia Villar for their significant programs for the rice farmers of this province. Governor Dimaporo assured the department of the active participation of the LGUs to continue delivering equitable and efficient service for all.
As she appeals for the continuous support of all FCAs and the vitality of the given opportunity, the Provincial Chief Executive inspires the group to strengthen their bond as an association/cooperative.
 
“Sometimes, we can’t avoid mismanagement and misunderstanding in an association. I hope you continue to cooperate and support each other to avoid letting your organization fall apart. These entrusted materials are not for personal use; it’s for your community, for every member. Take care of it as you thrive for it.” Governor Angging said.
Present also during the remarkable event were Mr. Joel Dator, the Chief, FMFOD of PhilMech, Vice Governor Maria Cristina Atay, SP Board Member Reinario Bihag, the Committee Chair on Agriculture, Mayor Barry Baguio of Kapatagan, and Mayor Angel ‘Tata’ Yap of Lala. The activity was successfully conducted through the facilitation of the Provincial Agriculture’s Office led by Ms. Letecia Ditucalan. PIO-LDN