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Farmer group’s dream turns into reality, thanks PBBM, DAR

hauling trucks turn-over
Two hauling trucks were turned over to the Canmarating, Odiongan, Pagsang-an, Sulpa Irrigators Association (COPS-IA) in Abuyog, Leyte and the Barangay Agutayan Farmers Association (BAFA) in Hilongos, Leyte under the Department of Agrarian Reform’s Sustainable and Resilient Agrarian Reform Communities (SuRe ARCs) project.

April 1, 2023

TACLOBAN CITY – In his inaugural message on June 30 last year, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. repeatedly said “Pangarap nyo ay pangarap ko!” as he stressed what every Filipino should expect in the next six years under his administration.

On Monday, Rodrigo Alumbro, president of the Canmarating, Odiongan, Pagsang-an, Sulpa Irrigators Association (COPS-IA), said “Pangarap lang po namin (ito), ngunit ngayon nagkatotoo na,” as he expressed their organization’s gratitude to the President and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) for the latest assistance extended to them, a six-wheeler hauling truck.

On March 27 this year at the DAR Regional Office in this city, Director Ronald Gareza of the Bureau of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development (BARBD) at DAR Central Office, represented agrarian reform secretary, Conrado Estrella III, in turning over two 15-feet dropside six-wheeler hauling trucks to two agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs) in Leyte.

Both vehicles have a combined amount of P3.998 million taken from the agrarian reform fund (ARF).

Gareza disclosed that the present administration restored back the ARF to finance assistance projects for the ARBs.

For this year, Gareza further disclosed, P7.5 billion had been earmarked under ARF to implement the Sustainable and Resilient Agrarian Reform Communities (SuRe ARCs) project.

COPS-IA and the Barangay Agutayan Farmers Association (BAFA) based in the towns of Abuyog and Hilongos, respectively, are the initial recipients of the SuRe ARCs project in Eastern Visays.

Gareza explained to the recipients that the SuRe ARCs project is being implemented purposely to finance projects for rice, corn and coconut areas.

According to him, “In SuRe ARCs, we are contemplating na magkaroon ng magandang negosyo ang ating mga ARBO na binigyan nito.”

“You will be operating as a competent organization that can handle at least 50 hectares plantation in order for you to go into successful business,” Gareza told the recipient ARBOs.

COPS-IA covers 181 hectares of rice fields, but only 130 hectares can be reached by the irrigation system, said Alumbro, while BAFA president, Vicenta Jaray disclosed that their organization covers more than 60 hectares of coconut lands.

Aside from the hauling truck, Gareza, assisted by DAR Eastern Visayas Regional Director Robert Anthony Yu, also turned over four units of deshelling machines with a total worth of P600 thousand to BAFA for their copra business.

Jaray said as she thanked DAR officials, “Masayang-masaya kami dahil nakakatulong kami sa mga farmers namin lalo ngayon na ang labor ay mahal.”

“Yung truck naman, malaking tulong ito sa amin dahil hindi nakakapasok yung malaking truck sa niyugan,” she added.

Meanwhile, COPS-IA was advised to convert into a cooperative to be able to engage in rice trading business.