ABUYOG, LEYTE —Despite controversies and apprehensions surrounding the passage of the Rice    Tariffication Law last year, the Department of Agriculture vowed to continue its unfettered, pro-poor, and persistent delivery of program interventions to farming communities on the landmark legislation’s first anniversary commemorated in one of NCI-SRD’s convergence areas.

Spearheaded by the regional offices of the Department of Agriculture, PhilRice, PhilMech, LandBank, Agricultural Training Institute, and TESDA, the event was attended by more than 200 farmers and other key stakeholders. DA-Regional Field Office 8 Regional Executive Director Angel C. Enriquez delivered the keynote address and underscored the need for the farmers to continue showing the way forward to leveling up the country’s agriculture sector through modernization and industrialization as espoused by DA Secretary William D. Dar.

“For the first year of implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law, our government has set aside PhP10 Billion so that we can just level up the sector,” RED Enriquez pointed out.

“Through this, we are optimistic that we can truly raise the level of competitiveness of our rice farmers as we align and follow the new thinking strategy and the paradigm shifts in attaining a food-secure Philippines and prosperous farmers and fisherfolk. Together, let us be united and persistent in attaining ‘Masaganang Ani at Mataas na Kita’ forwarded by Agriculture Sec. Dar,” RED Enriquez added.

Farmer organizations in Abuyog, Leyte affirmed this continued commitment by the Department of Agriculture as they were qualified as recipients of various farm tools and facilities which included high-end combined harvester, transplanter, and even rice processing center. At present, there were at least 30 combined harvesters that were awarded to farmers groups in Abuyog, Leyte.

Also in attendance were ARD for Operations Larry U. Sultan and PIA Regional Director Erlinda Olive Tiu. The event was simulcast through PIA’s Suruswerte over DYVL Aksyon Radyo-Tacloban.

The Municipality of Abuyog, Leyte was one of the expansion areas of NCI-SRD convergence site.