Cagayan de Oro City – At least 2,500 farmers and fisherfolk in Northern Mindanao whose livelihood adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are due to receive a total of P62.5 million loan assistance from the Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Credit Policy Council (DA-ACPC).

Under the Expanded Survival and Recovery (SURE) Aid Project or SURE COVID-19 financing program of DA-ACPC, marginalized farmers and fisherfolk may be granted a maximum of P25,000 non-collateralized, no interest financial loan payable in ten years.

Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) may avail a maximum P10 million as financing assistance. Said financing program was born on DA’s Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra COVID-19 campaign.

The program grants special loan to COVID-19 affected farmers and fisherfolk, capacitating them to bounce back from the pandemic’s adversities.

The DA-ACPC financing assistance is primarily grounded on the goal of ensuring unhampered food production and increased food supply nationwide, amidst onset of COVID-19 crisis.

“Our farmers in the region are affected by COVID-19 pandemic. Due to strict community quarantine their livelihood were compromised, and we need to step up and maximize our efforts helping them come around the crisis,” said DA-10 OIC-Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado.

“In April and May we have released a total of P185.4 million financial assistance to rice farmers in the region thru the Financial Subsidy to Rice Farmers (FSRF) and Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA). Now we are aiming to assist more farmers through DA-ACPC loan assistance. This initiative will make our farmers to stay productive while coping with the pandemic,” Director Collado furthered.

The DA-ACPC started releasing the Expanded SURE Aid COVID-19 loan in May.

As of date, the council has released P15.4 million loan to individual farmers and fisherfolk, in the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon and Misamis Occidental. “I am extremely pleased to be one of the qualified grantees of DA-ACPC SURE COVID-19 financing assistance. This is a big help for small farmers like us. With the loaned amount I will be able to purchase fertilizers for my banana farm,” Tomas Ermita, a farmer from Balingasag, Misamis Oriental exclaimed.

A total of 80 municipalities and cities in Northern Mindanao are covered by DA-ACPC SURE COVID-19 financing program. Starting this month ACPC will be in full swing, releasing the loan in all Northern Mindanao provinces, including Lanao del Norte and Camiguin.

“We are targeting to round up the SURE COVID-19 loan assistance in July. Although our time frame greatly depends on the LGUs’ responsiveness in submitting the list of qualified recipients. Our partner lending institution also have their protocols to observe in releasing the loans. Nevertheless, we are pretty much on track,” said Joan A. Vargas, ACPC Project Development Officer III.

In a report, Vargas disclosed ACPC also had released P31.5 million worth of financing loans to micro and small agricultural enterprises in Northern Mindanao through the Expanded SURE Aid and Recovery Project.

“We are hopeful this financing assistance of the government will benefit and help the farmers and fisherfolk in Region 10, especially in this time of crisis. This assistance hopefully enable them to recover and get back to their livelihood,” Vargas expectantly added.

The SURE COVID-19 financing assistance were released to farmers and fisherfolk through DA-ACPC accredited conduit lending institutions in Northern Mindanao: PITAC MPC, Mindanao Consolidated Cooperative Bank (MCCB), Lorenzo Tan MPC, 1st Valley Bank, Paglaum MPC and Bangko sa Balay Foundation, Inc.#(ATalib)

MUSUAN, Maramag, Bukidnon, June 19 – “Dako among pasalamat nga ang BUFFALO, TAMARAW, LIMUS ug BTL MPC na accredit na nga mag-uuma, pwede nami makadawat ug mga hinabang sa gobyerno pinaagi sa Department of Agriculture sa Region 10.

[We are grateful that the BUFFALO, LIMUS and BTL MPC is now an accredited farmer that qualify us to receive government assistance through the Department of Agriculture in Region 10.]

Said Winnie L. Loable, President of Bukidnon Free Farmers Agricultural Laborer Organization (BUFFALO) after receiving the farmer accreditation of BUFFALO, Tried Agricultural Movers Association of Rural Active Workers (TAMARAW), Land Tiller Inhabitants of Musuan (LIMUS), otherwise known as BTL, including the BTL Multipurpose Cooperative from the Department of Agriculture (DA).

The accreditation was issued after the group has satisfactorily complied with all the requirements to be a beneficiary of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) or Rice Fund, pursuant to DA Administrative Order No. 09, series of 2019.

The three-year validity accreditation provides access of government services of the farmer-group.

Being enlisted in the Registry System for Basic Agriculture (RSBSA) and accredited by the DA would mean that the recipients of the program are legitimate farmers.

Accreditation provides easy access for the farmers and their groups to become partners of the department in its agriculture-related initiatives.

Created through RA 11203 or Rice Tariffication Law, RCEF is a government program, which aims to help farmers through the P10 billion tariff collection from rice imports covering seed, machinery, credit, and extension support to improve the competitiveness of the Filipino rice farmers.

Bukidnon third district representative Manuel F. Zubiri, who graced the turnover ceremony, said that the MOA executed between Central Mindanao University (CMU) and BTL affirmed the end of the 33-years conflict.

The MOA states that the CMU will help facilitate partnership with DA and other national government agencies in sourcing assistance to help alleviate the life of informal settlers.

Loable added, “Kami nalipay, kining tungora magsugod na ug lambo ang pang-ekonomiya ug pang-uma sa mga mag-uuma tungod kay naa nay tabang ang atong gobyerno.”

[We are happy that this is the start of the economic and farming progress with the government’s assistance.]

Aside from its accreditation, BTL also received 500 bags inbred certified rice seeds worth P760,000 from DA-RFO 10 in support to attain high rice production through high quality and resilient agricultural inputs.

BTL is tilling 400 hectares rice area in CMU with around 400 farmer-members.

“It is DA’s commitment to provide agri interventions to the farmer group,” said DA-10 OIC Regional Executive Carlene C. Collado.

The DA-Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (DA-PhilMech) will also provide access to farm rice mechanization program to reduce post-harvest losses aside from increasing their productivity.

Meanwhile, CMU President Jesus Antonio G. Derije mentioned, as part of the social responsibility of the university and humanitarian considerations, it also prioritized research, extension and production for total community development.

Rep. Zubiri added that basic goods and services which include potable water and electricity will be installed to improve the life of BTL.

TAMARAW President Joven M. Jugos and Evaresto Forten of LIMUS expressed their gratitude and optimism, for the first time they availed government services aside from being recognized as legitimate farmers.#(ATCabig)

Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental, June 18 – The Department of Agriculture in Region 10 (DA-10) has turned over agricultural inputs to Hinastriko (Higaonon Nababalay Sectoral Tribal Council of Lagonglong), an Indigenous People’s community in said town.

DA-10’s initial provisions of agri inputs worth P44,000 comprising upland rice seeds, open pollinated variety (OPV) white corn seeds, assorted vegetable seeds and knapsack sprayer were turned over to Datu Sulong Eglesio Granada Lutawan.

According to Datu Sulong, around 14,000 hectares agricultural land of the ancestral domain will be fully developed for food production with the agency’s interventions, benefitting around 2,000 tribal members.

The ancestral domain’s farm which is 9.5 kilometers from Poblacion covers three barangays, Banglay, Gaston and Umagos.

Earlier, the group availed vegetable seeds through the strengthened partnership between DA-10 and the 58th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army.

DA-10’s effort is in support with the President’s directive for a sustainable livelihood program for the members of the IP community in a bid to improve their living condition and fight poverty among their communities.

The agency’s program, Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran ng Kababayang Katutubo, known as 4Ks is a special project in advocating an enhanced provision of agricultural and fisheries related livelihood aside from investments and services to the Indigenous Cultural Communities.

4Ks aims to help IPs maximize the use of the ancestral agricultural lands and turn it into productive, profitable, self-sustained and developed resilient agricultural enterprises, as explained by OIC-Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado of DA-RFO 10.

Further, said initiative is in line with DA’s centerpiece program, ALPAS COVID-19 or Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat laban sa COVID-19 or otherwise dubbed as the Agri 4Ps (Plant, Plant, Plant program) that eyes to drum up adequacy in food production amid the ongoing health crisis.

Nilda B. Salas, DA-10’s Provincial Operations Center Chief for Misamis Oriental together with DA-10’s banner program and IP coordinators (rice, corn and High Value Development Crop Program) handed the agri inputs together with the Municipal Agriculture Office of said town.

The realization of the IP’s request is through the support and efforts of Senator Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go through the Department of Agriculture.# (A

The DA-Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10) through its High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) reaps the harvest of its urban gardening project at the agency compound, in the city of Cagayan de Oro on June 16, 2020.

Said crops include, ampalaya, cucumber, red and green lettuce were planted on the first week of April 2020, at DA-RFO 10’s available spaces in response to DA Secretary William D. Dar’s food resiliency program or Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Laban sa COVID-19.

Also cultivated within the vicinity are pechay, kangkong, eggplant, okra, among others.

The agency’s vegetable garden utilizes recycled and indigenous materials, such as plastic bottles and bamboo culms, which is being showcased to walk-in clients, upon availing veggie seeds from the office for them to replicate in their own homes.

Through the veggie seeds provision, DA-RFO 10 OIC-Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado encourages every family to grow vegetables in any of their available spaces or containers, to ensure food security during the current health crisis and community quarantine period.

Regional Technical Director for Operations Carlota S. Madriaga is also inviting interested groups and individuals to avail of the department’s free vegetable seeds.

As of June 14, a total of 20,363 packets (763.552 kgs) of assorted vegetable seeds were already distributed by DA-10, thru the ALPAS COVID-19 program.# (EMB)

Pilmico Foods, Corp., the food and agribusiness subsidiary of Aboitiz Equity Ventures donated provisions to the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10), in support to the agency’s efforts of keeping Northern Mindanao African Swine Fever (ASF)-free.

The assistance package include 2 units tent, 50 liters of disinfectant, 3 units semi-auto knapsack sprayers, pull-up banners, industrial gloves and face masks.

These will aid in carrying out the department’s regulatory functions in the office, including in the different strategic checkpoints within the Region.

Handing over the items is Pilmico’s Assistant Vice President Jefferson C. Abian to the DA-10 officials led by OIC-Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado, in the presence of regional technical directors for Operations and Research and Regulations, Carlota S. Madriaga and Carmelita T. Bajarla, and Regulatory Division Chief Juliet B. Araos. #

Cagayan de Oro City – In view of the occurrence of African Swine Fever (ASF) in some parts of the country, the Department of Agriculture RFO 10 (DA-RFO 10) through the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force for African Swine Fever (ASF), requested the assistance of LTFRB in raising awareness on the effects of ASF to the travelling public.

Fifty-six pieces flash drives containing video plugs on ASF prevention protocols were turned over to Regional Director Aminoden D. Guro of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board 10 (LTFRB-10).

Julesben Ceasar Maquiling and Rhea Villa Chiu, veterinarians of the Regulatory Division of DA-10 handed said items to RD Guro, which will then be played on buses operating in Northern Mindanao to properly guide and educate the riding public on ASF.

“To continually protect Northern Mindanao from the entry of ASF, we are strengthening our info campaign by tapping LTFRB who plays a vital role in disseminating the right information to the riding public,” said OIC-Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado of DA-10.

DA’s move aims to heighten information campaign activities to protect the P25 billion hog industry of the region from ASF, which is supported by UNAHCO Inc – Pigrolac who provided the flash drives. #(ATCabig)


Impasug-ong, Bukidnon- Some 125 rice farmers in barangays Kalabugao and Hagpa become twice as productive through the Department of Agriculture-Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) intervention in Northern Mindanao.

The Hagpa and Kalabugao SAAD Farmers Associations received a total of 2,350 Itik Pinas (Native Philippine Ducks) as part of SAAD’s Php1.3 million livelihood project in said town on October 15, 2019.

Each farmer received a module of either 22 or 18 head ducks, promising extra farm income for the farmer-beneficiaries.

[Amu gikalingawan og atiman ang among mga bebe. Karon nagsugod na sila og pangitlog, ug paunhanay kami kada buntag pangolekta sa mga itlog. Maka income gyud mi ani nga project.]

“We took care of the ducks as pastime routine. We started to appreciate it when the ducks started to lay eggs. Now every morning we race to the barn to collect our ducks’ eggs. Indeed, we can earn from this project,” said Eugene Ragmac, 52-year old SAAD beneficiary farmer of barangay Hagpa.

In a span of three months, Ragmac and his family collected at least 2,458 pieces duck eggs which were sold at P7 each.

“Duck eggs production has huge potential, considering the untapped demand in the local and neighboring towns’ market. Significantly, the project is manageable by our farmers and highly suitable to our SAAD-adopted areas in Impasug-ong since it is predominantly rice areas with ready water source,” Impasug-ong Senior Agriculturist, Engr. Ruel Gomez averred.

Aside from daily dose of protein for their family, other project-recipients in the area also started to earn from their duck barn harvesting daily eggs produce.

To maximize the project’s potential, DA-SAAD farmer-beneficiaries are considering to acquire incubator, allowing them to engage in balut and days-old-ducklings production.

Noting challenges encountered by the farmers, the LGU is planning to train the farmers on alternative feeds formulation, which is seen to help them becoming cost-effective in managing the project.

DA-SAAD-10 for its part will augment its support to the farmers by subsidizing ducks feeds which is expected to be available by June this year.# (ATalib)

Cagayan de Oro City, June 7 – To help boost awareness, the ‘Masaganang Ani, Mataas na Kita’ radio program of the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10) and Central Mindanao University (CMU) was featured over the weekend’s Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security -X (CORDS-X) podcast.

In the webisode with Communications Secretary Jose Ruperto M. Andanar, DA-10 OIC-Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado shared that said initiative, is anchored on Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar’s directive, of tapping community radio stations for a massive information, education and advocacy towards agri-fishery development.

The Program hits the waves over DXMU-FM 88.9 every Tuesdays and Thursdays and is the first among all DA-RFOs nationwide to have forged a partnership with a state university in the implementation of a radio program.

“It all started with Sec. Dar’s instruction, asking the regional field offices, in having a radio station that can be readily tapped to help DA in bringing and sharing information and updates, especially on technologies to farmers and fisherfolk, and for them to be apprised with the programs and activities that DA has been implementing,” the agri executive detailed its inception.

Said undertaking is officially inked on May 26, alongside with DA-CMU’s launching of the 50-hectares hybrid rice derby and technology demonstration in Musuan, Maramag, Bukidnon.

“For our part, we are happy to support this noble undertaking to provide an example that with the cooperation among DA-10, CMU and other private companies, all together, we can bridge in helping out those who are involved in rice production,” CMU President Dr. Jesus Antonio G. Derije remarked.

With the rice techno demo already in place, the DA-10 official reported that one of the highlights of the Program will include a thorough discussion on the components of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) which eyes to scale up rice farmers’ productivity and income.

“Aside from our regular program, we will also be involving our DA attached bureaus, agencies and corporations. We will enlist them to be our guests, including private seed companies for them to discuss innovative technologies, and our farm machinery and equipment suppliers,” Collado said, noting this will also be contributory to the Program’s success.

Meanwhile, Dr. Derije committed in pooling technical experts such as professors, station manager, licensed electronics engineer and broadcasters to assist in the Program.

The ‘Masaganang Ani, Mataas na Kita’ program had its maiden airing on the same day of DA-CMU’s MOA signing, where it centered on Fall Armyworm, its characteristics and nature, prevention, control and management, especially that it has already affected some corn farms in Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental provinces.

Further, the Program marks DA-10’s continuing support to the extension program of CMU, as it has funded P4 million to rehabilitate and convert DXMU radio station from AM to FM back in 2012, with listenership coverage not only in Bukidnon, but also reaching North Cotabato, Lanao del Sur, Davao City and Agusan del Sur.

The radio program is anchored by DA-10’s communication arm, the Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Section (RAFIS).#

CdeO City, June 3 –Some government agency employees adopting work from home arrangements are now heading to venture in growing vegetables in their respective backyards.

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) – Misamis Oriental and the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development – Region 10 (DHSUD-10) availed their 23 and 50 packets vegetable seeds, respectively, from the Department of Agriculture in Region 10 (DA-10), funded under its High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP).

The agency’s implementation of ALPAS COVID-19 or Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat kontra sa COVID-19 in the country’s major urban communities aims to scale up food adequacy level in mitigating the effects brought by the coronavirus contagion.

TESDA – MisOr Provincial Director Miraluna N. Baje-Lopez cited that its employees can become food sufficient by engaging in backyard gardening while they are working at their respective homes.

Meanwhile, DHSUD-10 OIC-Regional Director Charito A. Raagas said that provisions would not only provide a productive endeavor for public servants, but also offers a healthier food diet, as soon as they would harvest their homegrown vegetables.

“Recipients would truly reap a bounty of harvested vegetables, as one packet is more than enough for a backyard garden,” said Carlota S. Madriaga, Regional Technical Director for Operations of DA-10 who handed said items to the concerned agencies.

“With the repacked seeds of the department, an individual recipient can plant the set of seeds up to an area of 30-40 square meters,” the assistant agri-executive added.

Receiving the veggie seeds on behalf of said government agencies were TESDA-MisOr Administrative Aide IV Genesis P. Cabrillos and DHSUD-10 Chief Admin Officer Michael P. Bajao.# (EMB)

DALWANGAN, MALAYBALAY CITY, June 4 –The Department of Agriculture in Northern Mindanao turned over agri-equipment to three farmer associations of Talakag, Bukidnon worth P889,811 at DA-10’s Northern Mindanao Agricultural Crops and Livestock Research Complex (NMACLRC).

DA-10 OIC-Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado turned over three units power tiller-riding type, four sets of water pump and engine to Tig-ason Farmers Association, Inc. (TIFA, Inc.), Dominorog Small Farmers Association (DOSFA) and Talakag Irrigators Agro-Producers Coop (TIAPCO).

“Provision of said agri equipment is in support to the thrust of the agency to increase productivity and reduce poverty among the marginalized sectors in agriculture and fishery,” said RED Collado.

The Tig-Ason Farmers Association also received one unit corn sheller funded under the Normalization Program of the agency in addressing poverty reduction and vulnerability in conflict areas and improved governance.

RED Collado added, “The agri equipment will enable the beneficiaries to capacitate themselves and provide more opportunities for meaningful sources of livelihood.”

Natuman ra ang among damgo pinaagi sa DA nga naka angkon mi sa unang higayon ug ekipo. Dako ang among pasalamat tungod kay dako ni ug ikatabang sa among pang-uma nga maoy among gisaligan nga panginabuhian,” shared Reynaldo C. Verde, Chair of DOSFA.

[Through DA, our dream to own an agri equipment for the first time was realized. We are grateful for this could greatly help us in our farming activities where we depend for a living.]

DA-10’s implementation is undertaken in partnership with the local government of Talakag, Bukidnon thru Mayor Vergeto O. Factura in directing strategic production areas. #(ATCabig)