Six abaca farming associations in Catanduanes province are recipients of some PHP4.5 million worth of livelihood assistance from the Department of Labor and Employment in Bicol (DOLE-5) and DOLE Catanduanes. Eduardo Lovedorial, DOLE Catanduanes head, said the assistance to the abaca farmer groups is in line with the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program that aims to improve the socioeconomic conditions of beneficiaries. "It's a downloaded project, meaning the budget, through a check in the amount of PHP4,484,956 was downloaded to our partner, the Catanduanes provincial government,' Lovedorial said in a phone interview Friday, adding that the check was forwarded on Thursday. 'They will be the ones to procure the mechanized machines and other paraphernalia for abaca fiber productions. Hopefully, it will be distributed to the farmers' groups by October," Lovedorial added. He said the beneficiaries included the Sto. Niño Abaca Farmers Association (Virac) with PHP 497,980; Genitligan Abaca Farmers Association (Baras) - PHP 492,380; and the Bayanihan Abaca Farmers Association (Caramoran) - PHP 494,620. Also included are the Salvacion Abaca Farmers Association (Bagamanoc), the San Miguel Abaca Farmers and Traders Association (Panganiban), and the SLP Tariwara Agricultural Farmers Livelihood Association (Pandan), which all got PHP999,992 each. "The amount allocation per beneficiary depends on the specific project proposal they submitted as one of the requirements to avail of the program," he said. Lovedorial said they will often visit the abaca farmers' groups as part of their strict monitoring for two years. Recently, DOLE Catanduanes also awarded PHP950,000 livelihood assistance to a Taro chips producers association in San Andres town. In a Facebook post, the Catanduanes provincial government acknowledged DOLE-Bicol for its support to the abaca farmers in the province. "We appreciate the efforts of DOLE-Bicol for providing opportunities to our island. The PHP4.5M grant will significantly improve the abaca industry of Catanduanes,' it said.
Source: Philippines News Agency