Liloan Farmers Agriculture Cooperative in coordination with
the local government unit holds mobile market to sell their
products all over the town. (Photo by Febe Marie Bersabal)
beneficiary organizations generate P22.9M in sales during quarantine
JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
May 5, 2020
TACLOBAN CITY –
Despite the implementation of community quarantine throughout the
country for several weeks now, 104 agrarian reform beneficiaries
organizations (ARBOs) in Eastern Visayas generated a combined gross
sales of P22,928,460.00.
This period covers from
the last week of March, where most of the local government units
started enforcing their respective community quarantines, up to the
third week of April this year.
Regional Director Stephen
Leonidas of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) was impressed
with the determination of these farmers to survive amid this global
crisis caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Members of the said
DAR-assisted farmer organizations continue with their farm
activities and marketing of their harvests despite the current
As assistance to them
during this hard and trying times, Leonidas disclosed that DAR has
provided 119 ARBOs throughout the region with quarantine
accreditation pass to have access in checkpoints, which was
authorized by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of
Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID), for the continuous supply of
Leonidas said, these
farmers did not only earn income during the quarantine period but
contributed to the sustainability of food supply in the region.
Based on the DAR
monitoring report, of the 104 ARBOs who continued with their
marketing activities to supply food, 33 are in the province of Leyte;
21 in Eastern Samar; 20 in Samar; 15 in Northern Samar; eight in
Southern Leyte; and seven in Biliran.
Among these ARBOs are the
MAALSADA FISCO based in Alangalang town, and the Paglaum Farmers
Association based in this city.
The MAALSADA FISCO
continued to supply over 6,000 kilos of milled rice to the Eastern
Visayas Medical Center (EVRMC); while the Paglaum Farmers
Association delivered some 3,000 kilos of assorted vegetables to the
Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).
Both ARBOs are recipients
of marketing tie-up arrangements facilitated by DAR under the
Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) program.
In Samar, the local
government unit (LGU) of Calbiga purchases all the harvests of the
Calbiga Vegetable Growers Association, Panayuran Upland Farmers
Association, Brgy. Bulao Farmers Association, Canbagtic Farmers
Association, and the Borong Active Farmers Association to give
variation to the canned goods commonly given during distribution of
relief assistance for the town’s residents.
In Southern Leyte, the
Liloan Farmers Agriculture Cooperative conducts a mobile market
around the municipality of Liloan in coordination with the LGU to
sell their products composed of milled-rice and various types of
vegetables harvested under the Linking Smallholder Farmers to the
Market with Microfinance (LinkSFarMM) program. This is to lessen the
movement of people and avoid mass gathering in the market.
Meanwhile, in the province
of Biliran, the BSF Farm Workers and Beneficiaries Agrarian Reform
Cooperative based in Biliran town and the Anislagan Ceramic Agrarian
Reform Cooperative based in the municipality of Naval continue to
supply fresh eggs, from the egg layering livelihood they availed
under the Convergence of Livelihood Assistance for ARBs Project (CLAAP),
to their clients.
In his Facebook comment,
Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones described the farmers as
“silent frontliners” against COVID-19.