Gov’t ready to provide alternative livelihood for farmers amid El Niño

Gov’t ready to provide alternative livelihood for farmers amid El Niño

MANILA – The government may provide alternative livelihood assistance to farmers with “irrecoverable” agricultural land because of the effects of El Niño, the coordinating body tasked to mitigate the impacts of the phenomenon said Tuesday.

Task Force El Niño spokesperson and Communications Assistant Secretary Joey Villarama said the government is ready to provide immediate assistance to farmers who will bear the brunt of the weather phenomenon.

“Kung napinsala ‘yung lupa (If the land is damaged), let’s see if we can still replant the same crop. Pero kung hindi, magbigay tayo ng (But if not, let's provide an) alternative crop,” Villarama said during the Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon Program aired over state-run PTV-4.

“Doon po talaga sa hindi na salvageable, hindi na recoverable at hindi na puwedeng magamit iyong lupa, puwede naman po tayong magbigay ng alternative forms of livelihood. I understand, nakapagbigay po tayo ng domestic animals sa mga farmers like kambing, itik, native chicken para po ‘yung ang pansamantalang alagaan nila (For the land that is no longer salvageable, no longer recoverable and no longer usable, we can provide alternative forms of livelihood. I understand, we have been able to give domestic animals to farmers like goats, ducks, native chickens so that they can temporarily take care of them) for livelihood,” he added.

Villarama said affected farmers would also receive cash assistance from the government.

He said the government will not be complacent amid the threat of the El Niño phenomenon, adding that it will take a “scientific” approach to ensure that the country has enough water, energy, and food supply.

Villarama also stressed the need to monitor senior citizens and the youth who may experience heat stroke and skin diseases related to extreme heat.

This, as he warned that the “strong and mature” El Niño that the country is currently experiencing may persist until May this year.

Fourteen of 41 provinces currently affected by El Niño are experiencing drought, 10 are under dry spell, and 17 are experiencing dry conditions, Villarama said.

On Saturday, Villarama said the government is on a tight watch over food prices, as well as water and power supply, as it anticipates El Niño to affect more provinces by the end of February.

The Task Force El Niño was reactivated, reconstituted and streamlined through Executive Order No. 53 signed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Jan. 19.

Under EO 53, President Marcos directed the task force to develop a comprehensive disaster preparedness and rehabilitation plan for El Niño and La Niña to provide “systematic, holistic, and results-driven interventions” to help the public cope and minimize their devastating effects. (PNA)


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