AID TO COCO FARMERS. Over PHP1.5 million financial aid is released to 264 coconut farmers from 14 barangays in Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur, on Wednesday (February 5). The assistance is part of the continuing 2018 Participatory Coconut Planting Project (PCPP) implementation of the Philippine Coconut Authority in Caraga Region. (PNA photo by Alexander Lopez)

BAYUGAN CITY – A total of 264 coconut farmers from 14 barangays in Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur received over PHP1.5 million aid from the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) in a distribution activity on Wednesday.

The distribution was part of the continuing 2018 Participatory Coconut Planting Project (PCPP), one of the vital program components of PCA aimed to encourage more coconut and non-coconut farmers to plant coconuts.

PCA-13 manager Joel Oclarit, together with Councilors Nilo Manpatilan and Gilbert Honculada led the distribution activity.

Each of the coconut farmers received over PHP5,000 aid depending on the number of hectares of coconuts that they currently develop in their respective barangays.

“The continuing implementation of PCPP will help our farmers develop fully their coconut farms,” Oclarit said during the distribution activity.

He also urged the coconut farmers to utilize the funds fully for increased productivity of their coconut farms.

The PCA promotes coconut planting in open and suitable areas and replanting of senile and unproductive coconut trees and those damaged by natural calamities under the PCPP program that involves the provision of cash incentives to qualified coconut farmers who will participate in the production, transplanting, and stabilization of good coconut seedlings in their own farms.

Liberato Mabalot Jr., the president of Bayugan City Coconut Farmers Association (BCCFA), told Philippine News Agency that the cash assistance is intended for the fertilization of newly-grown coconuts.

“We participate in the production of coconuts right in our farms. Through the PCPP, we are provided with financial aid to buy fertilizers to ensure increased productivity,” Mabalot said, adding part of the financial aid will also be paid to farmworkers hired to develop the coconut farms.

In an earlier interview, Oclarit said Caraga Region has a total allocation of PHP105,340,780 planting and replanting of coconuts this year and will benefit around 15,000 coconut farmers. (PNA)