UNHAMPERED DELIVERY. The San Roque Farmers Producers Cooperative, a Department of Agrarian Reform-assisted cooperative in the municipality of San Miguel, Surigao del Sur, is among the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations that have continued to deliver their produce to the markets to ensure food supply amid the 2019 coronavirus disease crisis. The DAR-assisted cooperatives earned over PHP37 million from March 16 to April 29, 2020. (Photo courtesy of DAR-13 Facebook Page)

BUTUAN CITY – The 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) crisis did not deter the will of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations (ARBOs) in Caraga Region to pursue their economic activities.

Armed with quarantine passes issued by the Department of Agrarian Reform Caraga Region (DAR-13), 92 ARBOs through their cooperatives managed to deliver well-milled rice, vegetables, root crops, and other items to market centers from March 16 to April 29 this year.

“Our ARBOs saw the need to deliver their agricultural produce in the market as the demands increased due to the effects of the ECQ,” DAR-13 Director Leomides Villareal told Philippine News Agency on Wednesday (May 6).

Villareal also expressed gratitude to DAR regional and provincial offices for the support of the ARBOs despite the "great risk posed by the pandemic".

“With the collaborations, they succeeded in bringing their produce to market centers and in return afforded them enough income to sustain their organizations and cooperatives,” Villareal said.

Data provided by DAR-13 said that during the period, the ARBOs through their cooperatives earned over PHP37.2 million.

Of the 92 ARBOs, data showed that at least 9,034 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) were involved not only in marketing but also in harvesting, preparations, and processing.

Within the same period, DA-13 said the ARBOS in Agusan del Norte earned over PHP11.2 million; Agusan del Sur, PHP23.9 million; Surigao del Norte, PHP1.2 million; and Surigao del Sur, PHP694,064.

“Our ARBs through their ARBOs and cooperatives are also front-liners during the lockdowns as they flooded our markets with the needed food for our people,” Villareal said.

He also thanked the other line agencies of the government that provided support to the ARBOs, especially in the process of transporting their produce to the markets. (PNA)