FREE CERTIFIED SEEDS. The Department of Agriculture (DA) in Mimaropa has distributed PHP4 million worth of certified seeds to six towns and one city in Oriental Mindoro province that were affected by floods from December 2022 until January this year. The agency said this is an immediate response to the requests of the local government chief executives. (Photo courtesy of DA-Mimaropa Field Office)

CALAPAN CITY, Oriental Mindoro – The Department of Agriculture (DA) in Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan) has distributed a total of 2,850 bags of certified seeds worth PHP4,332,000 to farmers affected by the series of flooding in this city and six towns of Oriental Mindoro starting in December until January this year.

Engr. Ma. Christine Inting, officer-in-charge-Regional Executive Director of DA-Mimaropa, said on Thursday this was the result of the requests for assistance of the municipal/city mayors through their respective municipal/city agriculture officers.

In a statement emailed to the Philippine News Agency, Inting said they immediately responded using their buffer stock intended for calamities. She said they started the distribution on Jan. 14.

She assured they will continue coordinating with the local government units and national agencies, including the Department of Public Works and Highways, National Economic Development Authority and the Department of the Interior and Local Government, to discuss long-term solutions to problems that arise during calamities like flooding which affects farms and livestock.

“We, at DA-Mimaropa are saddened by what happened to our farmers in Oriental Mindoro from the calamity that was caused by the northeast monsoon and shear line,” she said.

Inting also reminded farmers to insure their plants and livestock with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) for a fallback during calamities.

According to the municipal and city agriculture offices, 9,556.24 hectares of farms were affected by the floods from Dec. 19, 2022 until Jan. 23, 2023, with Naujan town incurring the biggest loss at 3,114.29 hectares.

Danilo Geneta of Barangay San Juan, Victoria town, one of the farmers who received certified seeds from the DA, thanked the agency for the assistance.

Another beneficiary, Dionisia Bas of Barangay Mabini of the same town, said, “We thank DA for the seeds extended to our association because it is a big help for us to recover our palay farms from the flooding.” (PNA)