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El Niño-affected farmers to receive credit assistance, insurance

MANILA: The Department of Agriculture (DA) said Saturday that the national government will provide credit and insurance assistance to farmers and fishers affected by the El Niño phenomenon.

DA spokesperson Assistant Secretary Arnel De Mesa said at least PHP500 million credit assistance will be provided to farmers and fishers for them to cope with the dry spell caused by the phenomenon.

About PHP1.8 billion in insurance claims will also be distributed to the affected farmers and fishers, de Mesa added.

At least PHP25,000 credit assistance will be given to each affected farmer and fisher and a maximum of PHP20,000 insurance claims may be granted as well.

‘Ang gobyerno natin ay naglaan na ng PHP500 million na credit assistance. This is PHP25,000 per affected farmer and fisher and then ‘yung ating insurance claims about PHP1.8 billion maximum of PHP20,000 (each) ang pwedeng ipamahagi (Our government has allocated PHP500 million in credit assistance, this is PHP25,000 per affected farmer and fisher, and then t
he insurance claims about PHP1.8 billion, maximum of PHP20,000 can be distributed),’ he said.

Also, de Mesa said the DA is readying the distribution of PHP5,000 financial assistance to rice farmers and PHP3,000 fuel subsidy to both farmers and fishers provided under the national budget.

‘Pinabilis din namin iyong pagbibigay ng PHP5,000 doon sa rice farmers financial assistance plus iyong PHP3,000 na fuel subsidy na nasa general appropriations (We also expedited the giving of 5,000 pesos financial assistance to rice farmers and 3,000 pesos fuel subsidy that is in the general appropriations),’ he added.

As of Feb. 25, damage to agriculture was estimated at PHP357.4 million, hitting mostly farms in the Mimaropa, Western Visayas, and Zamboanga Peninsula Regions.

The phenomenon has affected 7,668 farmers so far.