Thursday, May 23, 2024

DA-10 backs Bukidnon’s Kadiwa ng Pangulo

MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon (April 01, 2024/PIA) – The Department of Agriculture in Northern Mindanao (DA-NorMin) commits to support the continued rolling out of the Katuwang sa Diwa at Gawa Para sa Masaganang Ani at Mataas na Kita (Kadiwa) ng Pangulo or KNP across Bukidnon province

“As the lead convenor, DA will secure an ample supply of agri-fishery products in every KNP site by engaging local farmers and fisherfolk as sellers,” DA-NorMin Regional Executive Director Carlene Collado said.


He emphasized that KNP aims to stimulate consumer spending, assist local farmers in selling agri-produce, provide market opportunities to MSMEs, and ensure accessible and affordable goods.


The Kadiwa program adheres to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum No. 2024-003, as reiterated by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in his State-of-the-Nation Address, citing the KNP as a system to enable the public to buy cheaper goods at cheaper rates and the farmers to sell their crops without having to worry about transportation costs.


The agriculture department started rolling out the Kadiwa in July last year, which seeks to empower the farming community by providing a direct and effective farm-to-consumer food supply chain.


In addition to ensuring a sufficient supply of agricultural products, DA is tasked with tracking the number of sellers and earnings for each Kadiwa event.


Through its Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division, DA-NorMin closely collaborates with the provincial government of the five provinces in Northern Mindanao to ensure a unified approach to KNP across the region.


During the recent Bukidnon Provincial Price Coordinating Council (PPCC) first quarter meeting, the DILG outlined the roles of involved government agencies in KNP, including the local government units (LGUs), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), DILG, and DA.


The Bukidnon PPCC urged all LGUs to conduct KNP twice a month, preferably on the 15th and 30th, complying with the circular.


It also pushed for activating the Local Price Coordinating Council (LPCC) in each town and city, in line with its recently developed action plan. (DA-10/PIA 10/Bukidnon)

RDC-10 economic dev’t committee approves DA-10 2025 proposed budget

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (March 03, 2024/PIA) — The Economic Development Committee of the Regional Development Council (RDC)-10 approved the P20.32 billion proposed budget of the Department of Agriculture (DA)-10 for the year 2025 on February 20

DA-10 Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado said 24 percent of the said budget is proposed under Tier 1 of the 2025 General Appropriations Act (GAA), while the remaining 76 percent will be lodged under Tier 2.


As part of its priority programs for 2025, DA-10 seeks to fund catalytic projects such as farm-to-market road development; agricultural machinery, equipment, and facilities support services; irrigation network services; production support services; Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD); metropolitan and agri-based products cluster approach; corn processing center expansion; and biosecurity and climate-resilient production facilities.


According to Collado, the proposed budget is a product of consultative planning, encompassing the needs and priorities of the agricultural stakeholders in the region.


“We craft the budget using a bottom-up approach. The projects we propose are mainly based on the endorsement of the LGUs and the validated intentions we received from farmers’ cooperatives and associations in the region,” Collado said.


Statutory appropriation for gender and development, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and the youth, capacity development programs, and capacity building for devolved functions and services (Mandanas-Garcia ruling implementation) are also among the programs proposed for funding by the agency in 2025.


Under the proposed budget, DA-10 also seeks to complete the construction of its regional office, upgrade its research facilities, and establish a new integrated laboratory complex in the region.


This year, DA-10 secured a 19 percent GAA-approved budget from the RDC-10-endorsed budget proposal. (DA-10/PIA-10)

Bukidnon wins Best AI implementer in NorMin

MALAYBALAY CITY, BUKIDNON (February 20, 2024) – The Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 10 (DA-10) honors the top performing province and technicians of Artificial Insemination (AI) during the Unified Artificial Insemination Program (UNAIP) forum held on February 16 at the Northern Mindanao Agricultural Crops and Livestock Research Complex (NMACLRC) in this city

In a press statement from DA-10, Bukidnon has been named the Best AI Implementer Province among the five provinces in Northern Mindanao.

Johnson C. Petalcurin, DA-10 Regional AI Coordinator, indicated that the winner was chosen based on the number of calves dropped and animals inseminated in a province’s breedable animal population.

Other parameters evaluated, he continued, include the amount of UNAIP-related actions carried out, such as meetings, heat synchronization, paraphernalia distribution, information dissemination, and activation of AI technicians.

Carlota S. Madriaga, DA-10’s regional technical director for operations, commended Bukidnon and the other provinces for promoting AI in their respective areas.

She also assured the technicians that the department, led by DA-10 Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado, will provide full assistance for the region’s livestock industry.

Meanwhile, exceptional AI technicians were recognized at the event for the Most Number of Animals Inseminated and Calf Drop categories.


Nix D. Melendez, an AI technician from Quezon, Bukidnon, who recently retired from government service, won first prize in both categories with a total of 591 animals inseminated and 86 calves dropped

Francis Ray B. Ditona of Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, finished second in the calf drop category with 67 calves.

Alejandro C. Bag-ao of Libona, Bukidnon finished third in all categories, inseminating 219 animals and dropping 66 calves.

Cristopher Jiss C. Tabor, an AI technician at Camiguin’s Provincial Veterinary Office, inseminated 218 animals and finished second in the category, stressing the importance of AI in the province in light of the limited number of bulls and the diminishing number of livestock heads

“Using AI, we can increase the number of heads and help our farmers earn more. Some of my clients have told me that they were able to send their children to school because of the cash they earned from selling cattle, which was made feasible by artificial intelligence. Indeed, AI is a fantastic initiative that ought to be encouraged because of its impact, not just on technicians but also on farmers who need it as well,” Tabor said.

After the awarding, the Livestock program distributed different AI paraphernalia worth P277,872 to AI technicians and coordinators, including 108 bottles of lubricant, 101 packs of straw sheath, 4 boxes of arm-length gloves, and 159 packs of medications and biologics.

The UNAIP forum was attended by AI technicians from various towns in the region, as well as provincial AI coordinators from Bukidnon, Camiguin, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, and Misamis Oriental.

Dr. Luz I. Guzman, DA-10 field operations division chief, was joined by chiefs and officials from the DA-10 Provincial Operations Centers and DA-10 research stations, as well as DA-10 Livestock Program staff led by Jamaica L. Docdoc in gracing the activity. (melbmadera)

Allium derby seen to boost farmers’ productivity, onion supply in NorMin

MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon – Aiming to boost onion production in the region to attain self-sufficiency, the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10) stages an Allium Derby and Farmers’ Forum on February 22, at the Northern Mindanao Agricultural Crops and Livestock Research Complex (NMACLRC) in Dalwangan here

Spearheaded by DA-10’s High-Value Crops Development Program in coordination with the Research Division, and private seed and chemical companies, the activity gathered 100 farmers and other relevant stakeholders to witness the showcase of different onion varieties and their corresponding farming protocols.

“We can see from the two locations that onion production is viable in Region 10,” shared DA-10 Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado with the earlier conduct of the same in Tablon, Cagayan de Oro City, held last week.

He also noted that the agency will be procuring onion seeds and likewise, encouraged interested farmers’ cooperatives, and associations to submit their letter requests to avail of the said intervention.

Meanwhile, each seed and chemical company was given time to share their respective onion technologies and also distributed Information, Education, and Communication materials to the attending farmers.

Andre Abonitalla, assistant Sales Manager for Visayas and Mindanao, is thankful to DA for the implementation of the field trials for Onion.

“Currently, our onions in Mindanao are from Luzon and the price per onion increases since there is an additional freight cost, however, if onions are produced locally here in Region 10, this cost will be removed, thus resulting in cheaper onions,” he added.

During the derby cum forum, Allied Botanical, Corp. emerged as champions while Pilipinas Kaneko Seeds, Corp. and Ramgo Seeds are awarded first- and second-runner-up, respectively.

Criteria for judging included the biggest yield volume (in kilogram), best quality, and best economic efficiency.

For her part, Jacqueline Julia A. Lagamon, acting provincial agriculturist for Bukidnon, shared that they will be working closely with DA-10’s Research Division to look for more locations as potential onion-producing sites.

Also supporting the event are DA-10 Regional Technical Director for Operations Carlota S. Madriaga, with DA-10’s attached bureaus and agencies: Agricultural Training Institute and Bureau of Plant Industry as well as private chemical companies such as Envireau Pacific, Inc., FMC Agro Philippines, Inc., Aldiz, Inc., and Tropi-Cuke, Inc.

Another round of such events is also slated for DA-10’s Research Center for Hillyland Development in Claveria, Misamis Oriental on March 21, this year. (PR)

DA-PhilMech, Bukidnon LGU break ground for P101.5-M grains center

VALENCIA CITY, Bukidnon (February 26, 2024) – Farmers in Bukidnon province and those in neighboring areas can soon benefit from the new P101.5 million Grains Center, as construction began on February 19 in Sinabuagan, Valencia City

Governor Rogelio Neil P. Roque of Bukidnon province, DA-PhilMech Facility Management and Field Operations Division Chief Mayville Castro, and Valencia City Mayor Azucenas P. Huervas led the signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the project.

The Provincial Government of Bukidnon, in partnership with the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Center for Post-harvest Development and Mechanization (DA-PhilMech), availed of the Rice Processing System (RPS) II facility under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) mechanization program to establish a grains center.

Out of the P101.5 million, DA-Philmech allocates P61.5 million for a rice processing system, while the Bukidnon local government unit (LGU) contributes P40 million for building construction.

The RPS package includes state-of-the-art components for the province, such as a one-unit 4-5 tons per hour rice mill with mist polisher, length grader, and color sorter.

The RPS package also includes four units of 6 tons per batch of mechanical recirculating dryers.

Once the construction of the Grains Center in Sinabuagan, Valencia City, is completed, the Bukidnon LGU will manage and operate it.

Said project aims to minimize post-harvest losses of rice in the province and increase the income of rice farmers by buying their Palay at a reasonable price.

Witnessing the MOA signing are DA-10 Regional Executive Director Carlene Collado, DA-PhilMech Mindanao Cluster Head Engr. Edgar Testa, Vice Governor Clive Quiño, and Provincial Agriculturist Jacqueline Julia Lagamon. (ATC/IDMadjus/PIA 10/Bukidnon)

DA-10 launches upland hybrid rice demo farm in Bukidnon

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – To further boost Northern Mindanao’s rice production capacity, the Department of Agriculture – Region 10 (DA-10) through Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado formally launched its first hybrid upland rice production technology demonstration farm in Bukidnon province

Together with the Bukidnon Tagoloanon Mulahay Ha Kabukalagan Agriculture Cooperative (BUKTAMACO), Bukidnon Provincial Agriculture Office, Malaybalay City Agriculture Office, and Seedwork Philippines, DA-10 recently held its inaugural planting of the three-hectare upland rice production technology trial demo farm in barangays Sumpong and Can-ayan, in Malaybalay City. 


The project is designed to undergo a trial phase before full-scale implementation of the eyed 300-hectare demonstration farm, to give way for production technology fine-tuning and area compatibility assessment. 


In her message, DA-10 Regional Technical Director for Research and Regulations, Cora A. Dumayaca said the project is pivotal to the DA’s goal to increase the region’s rice sufficiency by utilizing upland production areas. 


Using an area modeling approach, the project will optimize the potential and opportunities in developing the Ancestral Domains of Indigenous Peoples (IPs) as an upland rice production area in the region. 


DA-10 Deputy Director for Mindanao Inclusive Agriculture Development Project (MIADP), Joel S. Rudinas, said the project provides the base for future agricultural development. 


He said by employing an area-based development system, this undertaking can spin out to other commodities in the value chain and integrate other agricultural livelihood activities that can significantly address poverty situations among the IP communities. 


Using Seedworks Philippines’ TH-82 hybrid rice production technology, the upland rice demo farm is set to be fully established during the 2024 wet cropping season. 


Also, in attendance during the hybrid upland rice technology demo farm launching ceremony are Atty. Burt M. Estrada, BUKTAMACO General Manager, Jacqueline Julia A. Lagamon, Bukidnon Provincial Agriculturist, Engr. Richard B. Leono, Malaybalay City Agriculturist, Janet D. Lopez, DVM, DA-10 Bukidnon Provincial Operations Center chief, Lucille T. Minguez, DA-10 Regional Crops Protection Center chief. (ATT)

P100M Korean greenhouses in Bukidnon empower farmers, spark bounty harvest

MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon (29 January 2024/PIA)—The unveiling of P100 million Korean government greenhouse technology in Bukidnon marks a breakthrough in agriculture, sparks a bounty harvest, and improves farming techniques among the province’s high-value crop farmers

Packed with Korean tech, South Korea’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) donated the multimillion greenhouses to the Department of Agriculture in Region 10 (DA-10) to demonstrate effective methods for growing strawberries, cherry tomatoes, potatoes, leafy vegetables, and high-priced crops in Philippine soil.

In a strawberry farm tour following the turnover ceremony at Northern Mindanao Agricultural Crops and Livestock Research Complex in Dalwangan, Malaybalay City, last December, An Jae-rok, executive director of the Korean Agency of Education, Promotion, and Information Service in Food, Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries presented how MAFRA’s Smart farm system gives farmers remote control over their greenhouses.

“In Smart Greenhouse, data is collected daily inside and outside the facility. There are sensors inside to check the amount of carbon dioxide, temperature, and air humidity. There are also sensors outside the greenhouse to check the rainfall, temperature, wind direction, and velocity,” he said.

Jae-rok said farmers need not worry anymore about the unpredictable weather and the backbreaking labor because farmers can easily monitor and adjust greenhouse conditions manually or remotely using the Smart Farm Mobile App with internet connectivity.

“This is unique. It gives us a chance to dream bigger, heaps of perfectly ripened strawberries at a time,” said Joel Rivera, a greenhouse farm adopter and red bell pepper farmer from Bukidnon, as he looked at the vibrant plants inside the facility.

Compared to traditional methods, which usually rely on manual labor and simple controls, greenhouses use modern irrigation and automation systems such as complex environment control and growth development information.

Finding new ways to produce more food

Cora Dumayaca, technical director for research and regulations for DA-Northern Mindanao, said the newly introduced greenhouse technology aims to provide innovative planting to increase productivity and ensure higher profits for Filipino farmers.

“It’s not just technology. It’s empowerment. This high-tech farming also combats climate change worries. Imagine vibrant strawberries thriving alongside climate-resistant leafy greens–that’s the future the government is building,” Dumayaca said.

She explained that Northern Mindanao’s agriculture department shared nearly 30 percent, while Korea’s MAFRA granted more than 70 percent of the project’s total cost.

Dumayaca reported that they had trained 70 Bukidnon farmers, extensionists, and other farmer organizations in nearby provinces on sustainable smart agriculture covering strawberries, cherry tomatoes, leafy vegetables, and potatoes.

“The project went beyond equipping 11 greenhouses with advanced technology. These serve as training hubs and show windows, crafting a Package of Technology (POT) as a roadmap for farmers to boost production through precision agriculture. The DA aims to inspire the next generation to adopt modern farming methods,” she added.

Yong Ho Jung, Korea’s director for international cooperation of MAFRA, said that by establishing smart farms in the Philippines, they have transferred proven Korean-style farm technologies adaptive to the Philippine climate.

“I thanked the Philippine government for its cooperation and interest in the project. These greenhouses mark MAFRA’s first Official Development Assistance (ODA) program on smart agriculture—a testament to the enduring friendship between the two countries. We hope that our collaboration in agri-technology will help to modernize and develop the agro-industry sector through knowledge exchange, as outlined in the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028, as well as the nationwide dissemination of smart farming in the Philippines,” Jung said.

Korea’s Smart Greenhouses at NMACLRC in Dalwangan, Malaybalay, was launched on April 1, 2022, with 11 state-of-the-art greenhouses across 4,250 square meter fields. Inside, rows of fruit-bearing strawberries and cherry tomatoes, including vibrant leafy greens and potatoes, flourish in precision-designed gardens.

With the ability to produce off-season crops year-round, the DA considers the project a step towards achieving self-sufficiency for the country. (JSA/RLRB/PIA 10/Bukidnon)

NorMin 2023: New chapters, calls for justice

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (Dec. 27, 2023) – Northern Mindanao will always have a story to tell every year. In 2023, the region did not disappoint, bringing in a considerable amount of national attention

In particular, Misamis Occidental province had more of that this year.

The aftermath of the December 2022 shear line floods compelled President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to visit the province and Gingoog City in Misamis Oriental as well, in early January.

Marcos’ meetings with regional and local officials with Cabinet members have created long-term policies, especially in adding disaster-resilient infrastructure projects and social welfare programs.

Since then, the provincial government has rolled out cash assistance in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development for flood-affected residents.

Crime, deaths

Misamis Occidental also brought stories that call for justice – one being the death of community broadcaster Juan Jumalon, who was killed while livestreaming inside his house in Calamba town on Nov. 5.

His death prompted a series of condemnations from media groups, public officials, and even Marcos himself.

Suspects were identified, and murder charges were filed.

The incident led Gov. Henry Oaminal to direct the provincial police and the Police Regional Office (PRO-10) to arrest the culprits and revisit the investigation of other assassination attempts.

These included the Oct. 15 blast in Clarin which hit his convoy; the Oct. 23 shooting of Calamba Municipal engineer Jopson Baones; and Oct. 28 grenade-throwing incident at the house of Calamba Mayor Luisito Villanueva.

Almost a month after Jumalon’s murder, the province will again mourn the death of Riza Ramos Daniel, 49, who was killed in a blast inside the Mindanao State University-Main Campus gymnasium in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur on Dec. 3.

Daniel was the mother of El Dritz, who was also injured in the blast, both of Tangub City. El Dritz was a third-year Computer Studies student at MSU-Main. Daniel decided to work in Marawi City to be closer to her son.

MSU-Marawi incident

The incident in MSU-Main brought the provincial government of Lanao del Sur and the Marawi City government together to coordinate with the police and military.

Within the week, the Islamic State militants claimed the attack, followed by the arrest of suspects Kadapi Mimbesa and Arsani Membisa, who are said to have links with local terrorist group, Dawlah Islamiyah. Both had prior arrest warrants for murder and kidnapping charges.

Other than Daniel, the three other fatalities were students Janine Arenas and Junrey Barbante, and faculty member Evangeline Aromin. The blast also injured some 50 people.

Change of command, anti-insurgency

Meanwhile, this year saw major changes in the region’s military and police leadership.

Maj. Gen. Jose Ma. Cuerpo II replaced Maj. Gen. Wilbur Mamawag as the commander of the Philippine Army’s 4th Infantry Division (4ID) in March. Brig. Gen. Ricardo Layug also replaced Brig. Gen. Lawrence Coop as PRO-10 director in October.

As soon the two assumed office, they had their hands full in continuing the mandates of the national government in securing the peace and order situation in the region.

The 4ID under Cuerpo continued its operations against New People’s Army (NPA) rebels, and even on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, troops under the 403rd Infantry Brigade killed 10 rebels in Bukidnon.

Cuerpo said the Army has maintained its position of allowing NPA rebels to surrender or face a military operation, wherever they may be in Northern Mindanao and Caraga regions.

PRO-10 also accepted rebel surrenderers who brought in firearms and ammunition. Those who surrendered were assisted in the programs of the Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.

On anti-drugs, Layug said the police has continued its anti-illegal drug campaign with a series of buy-busts in partnership with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

With the introduction of “Buhay Ingatan, Droga’y Ayawan” of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, PRO-10 followed suit in promoting a holistic approach to addressing illegal drug issues.

Village polls

Layug and Cuerpo would again have their hands full in the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) that were finally held on Oct. 30 after several years of delay.

Police and military troops were deployed to keep the peace.

While reports of vote buying by the local chapter of the National Citizens; Movement for Free Elections, and tensions among supporters in Nunungan, Lanao del Norte, both PRO-10 and 4ID reported a “generally peaceful” BSKE.

On election gun ban operations, PRO-10 reported that from August 28 to October 30, a total of 77 operations were launched that resulted in the arrest of 90 persons, confiscation of 55 firearms, 41 deadly weapons, 367 rounds of ammunition, and an explosive.

But in Lanao del Sur province, which is part of the Bangsamoro Region, the BSKE was marred with heated confrontations among political supporters, voting delays in precincts, and occasional violence that led to a death in the town of Butig.

Rice, economy

The limited rice supply and increase in its prices prompted the national government to issue Executive Order 39, which put a ceiling on prices and provided assistance to affected farmers and small-scale retailers.

Bukidnon province, the region’s food basket, was also affected by drought that some had attributed to the effects of the El Niño phenomenon being experienced in the country.

However, according to the Department of Agriculture, the lean months between August and September would be offset by the fresh harvests that came in October.

And so it did, as the Philippine Statistics Authority Region 10 released its monthly inflation reports and regional economic status in the following month, showing a rosy picture of the regional economy. The National Economic and Development Authority-Region 10 forecasts a stable overall economy for 2023.

Based on the 2022 gross regional domestic product, NEDA-10 Director Mylah Faye Aurora Cariño said Northern Mindanao achieved a GRDP of 7.2 percent or PHP935 billion, compared to the 6.3 percent growth in the previous year, which was impacted by the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. (By Nef Luczon/PNA)

DA releases P122-M agri support to Bukidnon farmers

MALAYBALAY CITY, BUKIDNON (Dec. 14, 2023) — The Department of Agriculture (DA)-PhilMech has provided agri interventions worth nearly P122 million to 60 farmers’ cooperatives, associations (FCAs), and local government units (LGUs) in Bukidnon

The turnover took place at this city’s Northern Mindanao Agricultural Crops and Livestock Research Complex in Brgy. Dalwangan on December 12.
The beneficiaries received 94 pieces of agricultural machinery and rice production technology from the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech) and the Department of Agriculture’s Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10).
The recipient FCAs and LGUs are from the municipalities of Malitbog, Cabanglasan, Impasug-ong, Lantapan, San Fernando, Damulog, Don Carlos, Kibawe, Kitaotao, Maramag, Quezon, Kalilangan, Pangantucan, and the cities of Valencia and Malaybalay.
The funding for these interventions came from the mechanization portion of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), which is supported under RA 11203, otherwise known as the Rice Tariffication Law.
The interventions, which total P121,855,000, have been given to Bukidnon’s four congressional districts, according to Dr. Rodelio G. Idago, PHilMech Interim Director for Extension.
These include 29 units of floating tillers, 22 units of four-wheel tractors, 20 units of mobile rice mills, 16 units of rice combine harvesters, 15 units of rice threshers, four units of recirculating dryers, four units of hand tractors, three units of rice reapers, two units single pass rice mill, and one walk-behind transplanter.
According to Carlene C. Collado, DA-10 Regional Executive Director the said turnover of agri-machineries is in harmony with the agency’s thrust to boost the productivity and profitability of rice farmers in the country, including Northern Mindanao.
Based on data from the 2022 PSA, Bukidnon was the province that produced the most rice in Northern Mindanao, with an annual production of 295,686 metric tons, or over 63 percent of the total rice produced in Region 10.
Jacqueline Julia A. Lagamon, the acting provincial agriculturist of Bukidnon, along with Roan R. Fernandez of Impasug-ong, Coleen Ambos of San Fernando, Herberto L. Tan of Damulog, Merlyn C. Los Baños of Don Carlos, Armand S. dela Cruz (Maramag), Edgar A. Cantones (Kalilangan), Teodor B. Quirante III (Pangantucan), and other PHilMech employees have all backed the initiative. (GDA/melbmadera)

Debt relief for 5,000 farmers in Bukidnon under new agrarian law

MALAYBALAY CITY (Dec. 01, 2023/PIA) – Over 5,000 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) will benefit from Republic Act (RA) 11953, known as the New Agrarian Emancipation Act (NAEA), following the recent launch of the Condonation Response Desk (CORD) by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Bukidnon

Regional Director Zoraida Macadindang of DAR-Northern Mindanao said President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. signed the NAEA into law on July 9 this year, which condones all loans, including interest, penalties, and surcharges incurred by ARBs from land awarded to them.
She said the CORD serves as a command center to expedite the processing of necessary documents for ARBs in the province’s 20 towns and two cities in compliance with the new law.
“The CORD aims to liberate ARBs from debt bondage, giving them leeway to boost productivity. Agrarian reform lawyers will be stationed at the quick response centers to aid in processing the applications of ARBs for debt condonation and amortization under RA 11953, or the NAEA,” Macadindang said.
The law’s benefits for ARBs include exemption from payment of estate tax and mandatory inclusion in the Registry System of Basic Sectors in Agriculture to give them easy access to support services of the Department of Agriculture.
Lawyer Mitchell Talatala, representing Malaybalay City Mayor Jay Warren Pabillaran, said the city government wholeheartedly backs the DAR programs.
“The New Agrarian Emancipation Act has waived debts and fees, including real property tax condonations, for our agrarian reform beneficiaries. It made a significant impact on their lives,” Talatala said.
Meanwhile, DAR-Bukidnon Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer Jammal Pangandaman asserted that the new agrarian reform law empowers farmers to affirm and protect their rights.
“Agrarian reform is not just a set of policies. It is a social justice movement. It revolves around empowering farmers, the marginalized, and landless individuals,” he said. (By Bernadith G. Epan edited by RLRB, /PIA-10/Bukidnon)