5K Iloilo farmers, fisherfolk to receive aid

Iloilo Provincial Agriculturist Dr. Ildefonso Toledo discusses the finalization of the beneficiary list for the P10,000 Presidential Assistance to Farmers and Fisherfolk (PAFF) during a press conference on July 10.

By Mariela Angella Oladive

The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist in Iloilo is finalizing the list of beneficiaries for the Presidential Assistance to Farmers and Fisherfolk (PAFF).

According to Provincial Agriculturist Dr. Ildefonso Toledo, in a press conference on Wednesday, July 10, out of over 11,376 farmers and fisherfolk from 22 municipalities affected by El Niño, only 5,000 severely affected individuals will receive the P10,000 PAFF assistance.

Dr. Toledo explained that the beneficiaries will be selected from a master list submitted by municipalities to the Department of Agriculture VI and endorsed to the Office of the President.

To qualify, municipalities must have been declared under a state of calamity by the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.

The date and time of submission of the master list are also considered.

“It is a very tedious job because we need to review the master list. It’s a work in progress,” Dr. Toledo remarked.

The provincial government has one month to distribute and account for the financial assistance.

Toledo mentioned that municipal agriculture officers are assisting to expedite verification and prevent duplication of beneficiaries.

“We should be careful and we have to make sure that only the qualified farmers will receive the assistance,” he emphasized.

He also expressed hope for a second batch of PAFF to assist the remaining 6,376 affected farmers and fisherfolk.

“The Office of the President is aware of the total number of affected farmers in Iloilo. So hopefully they can provide an intervention to assist the other 6,000,” he said.

In the meantime, the provincial government has provided aid such as distributing seeds to those whose farmlands were damaged by the extreme drought.

It can be recalled that President Marcos Jr. visited Antique on June 27 to lead the distribution of PAFF to beneficiaries in Western Visayas. Iloilo province received P50,000,000 in aid, designated for 5,000 farmers.


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