June 4, 2023

BONTOC, Mountain Province – The provincial leadership here has come up with a scheme to help the farmers while providing nourishment for the constituents amidst the implementation of the enhanced  community quarantine as a preventive measure to stop the transmission of the coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19).

The “East-to-West, West-to-East” scheme initiated by the provincial government and the Office of the Congressman, wherein produce from vegetable producing towns in the western part of the province are brought to the non-vegetable producing eastern municipalities. In turn, the products of the eastern towns, mainly bananas are delivered to the western towns as relief assistance in this time of Covid.

In the April 8 social media post of the provincial government, 65,993 kilos or 65.9 tons of vegetables and other agri-products, 17.993 tons of assorted vegetables, and 48 tons of bananas (locally called dippig) were bought from farmers and distributed to beneficiaries under the arrangement.

Gov. Bonifacio Lacwasan, Jr. and Rep. Maximo Dalog, Jr. spearheaded the initial purchase of vegetables and agricultural products for distribution to the different municipalities.

Lacwasan said the initiative aims to help farmers who cannot bring their produce to markets outside the province because of the lockdown. The province through the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and the Office of the Congressman buy the products of local farmers to help them dispose of their produce during the implementation of the ECQ and at the same time use these vegetables and fruits as additional relief goods that are nutritious.

 “This product distribution scheme will be most beneficial not only to our farmers but also to our people as the latter avail of products which they could not possibly access under the present ECQ implementation,” said Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer Edward F. Chumawar, Jr.

“The move will ensure that people in the province will not go hungry and the livelihood of our agricultural sector will not severely suffer,” Erlindo Agwilang, spokesperson of Office of the Congressman, added.

The governor himself has been leading the distribution of assorted vegetables such as cabbage, wombok, potatoes, carrots, sayote, and beans and bananas to the different towns. Last April 2, he turned over P76,650 worth of assorted vegetables to the municipality of Barlig through Mayor Clark Ngaya.

He also turned over the vegetables procured from the farmers of Bauko and Sabangan to Paracelis Mayor Marcos Ayangwa. Fresh vegetables were also sent to Natonin.

The capital town of Bontoc earlier received fresh vegetables bought by the provincial government from farmers belonging to the Napua Binnadang Organization in Sabangan.

Sadanga was also given vegetables and bananas.

The 20,000 kilos of banana procured from producers in Paracelis were distributed last week to the western municipalities of Sabangan, Tadian Bauko, Besao, and Sagada.

The local government units are responsible in distributing the relief aid to their respective barangays which will be in charge in distributing to their constituents.

The Department of Public Works and Highways engineering districts, national line agencies, and some private vehicle owners are instrumental in the delivery of these relief assistance to the different municipalities.

The PDRRMC will continue to purchase agricultural products of the farmers in the province to alleviate their plight in these trying times. – PIA Mountain Province