CASH INCENTIVE. Coconut farmers in Barangay Trinidad in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental province listen to updates from a member of the Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict. The farmers, belonging to the Kapunungan sa Makugihong Mag-uuma sa Trinidad (KMMT) Association, received PHP225,000 as incentive to help them plant coconut trees. (Photo courtesy of the 62IB/Philippine Army) 

DUMAGUETE CITY – Coconut farmers in the Communist insurgency-affected village in Guihulngan City in Negros Oriental have thanked the local Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (TF-ELCAC) and the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) for the assistance given them to recoup from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Luis Caban, chairperson of the Kapunungan sa Makugihong Mag-uuma sa Trinidad (KMMT) Association in Barangay Trinidad, on Tuesday expressed his gratitude in a video clip provided by the Philippine Army, on behalf of his co-farmers, to the Guihulngan TF-ELCAC for the cash incentive that would help boost their income and production.

“There are about 200 members of our association and we are thankful to the PCA, the Department of Agriculture (DA), and other stakeholders who gave us this check that will be very helpful to us and other farmers in the mountains,” Caban said in mixed English and Cebuano.

He said he hopes that there will be more assistance in the future for farmers.

The local TF-ELCAC, together with the 62nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, the Guihulngan Police Station, and other police units, in collaboration with the PCA and the DA, handed over a check of PHP225,000 to the 66 farmers during a simple ceremony at the Office of the City Agriculturist.

This is part of the Incentive Coconut Planting and Replanting (ICPR) Expanded Covid-19 Response Program, according to a media release from the 62IB.

The purpose of the cash incentive is for the planting and replanting of coconut trees.

The partnership aims to encourage farmers to actively support and participate in government initiatives in providing them with adequate livelihood services, especially for those living in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantage Areas (GIDAs) who are commonly the victims of the deception strategy of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army. (PNA)