Iloilo to distribute fresh produce to residents

(Capitol Photo)

By Joseph B.A. Marzan

Residents in the Iloilo will start receiving fresh produce as part of their relief goods amid the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), after the provincial government acquired more than P8 million worth from the province’s small farmers.

The province was placed under the ECQ by Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. on March 20, 2020 through Executive Order No. 080 as part of the provincial government’s response to the growing threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The ECQ was extended from April 14 to April 30, 2020 via Executive Order No. 102 issued on April 8.

Defensor said he had allotted the P8 million from the province’s 2020 calamity funds during the early days of the ECQ as part of its relief support.

He added that the move was to help small farmers in the province and for the residents to avail of nutritious food at this time of crisis.

Ang ina siya nag-umpisa at the earlier stages of the quarantine, sang nag-umpisa kita nagdali sang atin mabulig sa mga banwa nga ma-procure sang probinsya while we were still preparing the budget. Mas nauna ni siya pero because of the [rules of] procurement, subong lang ni siya na-deliver. We consolidated the products of small farmers from the municipalities tapos gin-tipon ni naton sila, then we will distribute these to the municipalities instead of buying canned goods and other processed foods,” he said.

The deliveries started April 15, 2020 as soon as all vegetables were sorted.

The farm produce would be distributed by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) to LGUs with assistance by the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO), which will take charge in packing and distribution to residents.

Provincial Legal Officer Atty. Dennis Ventilacion said that towns with stricter travel restrictions due to confirmed local transmission of COVID-19, such as Guimbal and Lambunao, will be provided with greater allocations.

The provincial government had also set aside P270 million from savings of previous calamity funds of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office for its COVID-19 response programs.

The Department of Health’s data as of April 14 indicated that Iloilo has 15 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with nine active cases, four deaths and two recoveries.