Duterte to provide support for agri sector in Ilocos Norte

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DAVAO CITY (September 18) — President Rodrigo  Duterte said the government will  prioritize its support to the agriculture sector hit by Typhoon ‘Ompong’ in Ilocos Norte.

This will be done as the government  restores and repairs the  infrastructures and basic utilities  damaged by the typhoon.

Duterte  gave  commitment when he visited Laoag City, last Sunday, September 16. where he  witnessed the big loss in agriculture  sector in  Ilocos region.

Damage to Ilocos Norte’s agricultural sector stands at about P1.9 billion, according to Governor Imee Marcos. She said farmers want a quick turnaround for irrigated and non-irrigated areas.

“I’m not trying to reduce it to the barest minimum. Pero ang nakita ko except for the roofs, that few — they were ripped during the strong winds… wala masyadong damage ang lahat,” the President told Gov. Imee Marcos.

He added, “The only problem that would require the fullest attention of [the] government is agriculture dahil marami doon, fish and all, and the farm animals nandoon. It encompasses the jurisdiction of Secretary Piñol’s area.”

Farmers are also asking the government for livestock such as free-range chicken, ducks, fingerlings, and fishery equipment assistance.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol mentioned that his department would help Ilocos Norte, noting that the Department of Agriculture (DA) has Quick Reaction Fund (QRF), aside from its regular funding, to help Ilocano farmers replant their crops.

Marcos also reported that the Ilocano fisherfolk are struggling with the illegal poaching from Chinese and Vietnamese fishers in the province’s waters.

Responding to Marcos’ narration, Duterte instructed the Philippine Coast Guard to deploy ships and personnel to Ilocos’ waters to fend off illegal fishing from foreign poachers.

“She’s also complaining about poaching sa ating internal waters. So I would suggest kay Delfin to deploy some of the Coast Guards dito banda. Papalit-palit na lang…and to apprehend them, hulihin,” the President noted.-Jian A, Padillo/NewsLine.ph

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