MABALACAT CITY -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) recently turned over to the city government P3.9 million which will be used for various projects for farmers.

The agency, through the Bottom Up Budgeting (BUB) program, turned over the fund to the city last Monday at the city hall situated at the Xevera Complex here, Lourdes Balatibat, head of Office of the City Agriculture (OCA), said.

The local government appropriated P1.4 million as counterpart fund which will be used to purchase farm tools and combine harvester or rice thresher machines.

Balatibat said some of the funds will be allocated for irrigation projects, agri-fishery training with fingerlings distribution and goat dispersal.

Mayor Marino “Boking” Morales thanked the national government for the assistance extended to the Mabalacat farmers.

“We are willing to give P1.9-million counterpart banta magamit ya king miyaliwa-liwang proyektu da reng ortelanu,” Morales said.

The DA Central Luzon office said the Mabalacat OCA is the first recipient of the BUB in the province and second in the region next to Bulacan.

Fifty-nine kinds of farm implement worth P650,000 are set to distributed to various schools and community gardens.

For farmers’ cooperative and associations, P1.25 million will be allotted for the purchase of nine units of rice threshers.

Around 67 fishpond operators are expected to benefit from the P600,000 worth of agri-fishery training with fingerlings distribution.

Part of the BUB will be allotted for irrigation projects in the city.

Twenty-seven units of shallow tube well (STW) will be distributed to 27 rain-fed farmers. The machines are expected to irrigate approximately 80-100 hectares of farmlands.

Prioritizing out of school youth belonging to farmer-families, some P900,000 will be allotted for the purchase of 80 doe (female goat) and four bucks (male goat) for cross breeding to increase meat supply.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad earlier said that the agency is always intensifying its campaign for citizen participation in public spending.

“While the National Government has the mandate to deliver public services, we want to develop the capacity of local government units (LGUs) and civil service organizations (CSOs),” he said.

Through BuB, local governments and CSOs can effectively respond to the different needs of their communities,” he added.

The project is aimed to empower communities and strengthen local government units, according to the official.

The national government has released P20.9-billion to various agencies for the implementation of 14,300 Bottom-up Budgeting (BuB) projects in cities and municipalities nationwide.