sees refrigerated van from DAR an opportunity
of the Program Beneficiaries Development Division, Melecia Ong
(3rd from left), representing DAR-8 OIC-Regional Director Ismael
Aya-ay, hands over the symbolic key to FEA Agrarian Reform
Cooperative Chairman Luis Bayarong (5th from right) as DAR turns
over the P1.8-million refrigerated closed van to the agrarian
reform beneficiaries organization (ARBO). Witnessing the event
are Salcedo Mayor Melchor Mergal (3rd from right), Vice Governor
Maricar Gootesan (4th from right), and Sebastian Caspe
(representative of Congresswoman Maria Fe Abunda, 6th from
JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
May 20, 2021
SALCEDO, Eastern Samar
– An opportunity not only for the recipient agrarian reform
beneficiaries organization (ARBO) but for the entire municipality as
well is how Mayor Melchor Mergal of this fifth-class municipality
perceives the refrigerated closed van provided by the Department of
Agrarian Reform (DAR), rather than just a plain assistance.
During the turnover of the
delivery vehicle worth P1.8 million to the FEA Agrarian Reform
Cooperative (FEA ARCo) early this month, Mergal stressed, “It is not
only an ordinary refrigerated van. It offers a whole lot of
opportunity where we can start the engagements of our farmers to
multi-corporations because we have the facility.”
Thus, Mergal encouraged
FEA ARCo to sustain their operation because according to him, “It’s
not only your organization that will be benefited but the whole
municipality as well.”
Provincial Agrarian Reform
Program Officer II (PARPO II) Gilberto Apilado said, FEA ARCo,
though situated in the remote village of Iberan in this town, is one
of the progressive ARBOs in Eastern Samar. Aside from being producer
of various crops and processed foods, they also serve as
consolidator of farmers’ products throughout the province,
particularly cassava and cacao.
Chief of the Program
Beneficiaries Development Division at the DAR Regional Office,
Melecia Ong, explained that they recommended FEA ARCo to be the
recipient of the delivery truck in Eastern Visayas because this ARBO
has never received a common service facility from DAR yet.
Ong, who represented
Regional Director Ismael Aya-ay in the turnover rite, disclosed that
FEA ARCo upon evaluation by DAR Central Office passed the criteria,
including marketing arrangements with institutional markets.
FEA ARCo at present has
existing marketing contracts with the Department of Health retained
hospitals, Department of Education, Bureau of Jail Management and
Penology, and San Miguel Corporation for their products ranging from
fresh fruits and vegetables to processed foods. “They indeed need
this type of facility to keep the freshness of perishable products,”
She further disclosed that
this facility was funded under DAR’s PaSSOver: ARBold Move for
Deliverance of our Farmers from the COVID-19 Pandemic project hoping
to bolster the role of ARBOs as frontliners in the food supply chain
by helping them overcome the obstacles in the consolidation,
marketing, and delivery of farm products.
Meanwhile, FEA ARCo
Chairman Luis Bayarong considers this assistance as an investment
for them to be able to help others too.
In acceptance, he revealed
their immediate plan to use the refrigerated closed van in
delivering dressed chickens and fresh eggs which they supply
throughout the province.
Mayor Melgar was so
thankful for the assistance DAR has extended to his constituents
which according to him, “the local government could not provide due
to our limited resources”.
“An amon nala, an pagbulig
paglink ha magkadurudilain nga ahensya,” (For our part, we will help
link them to the different agencies) said Melgar.