Joining the Philippine Information Agency in the conduct of the Ilocos leg of the Post-SONA Forum Series, the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 1 presented its accomplishments and future plans to address the issues besetting the agriculture sector.

DA Regional Executive Director Annie Bares assured the farmers and fisherfolk, especially those severely affected by recent typhoons in the region, that the agency has already allotted funds for the recovery and rehabilitation of the damaged farms and infrastructure and loss in the livestock, poultry, and fishery sectors.

She also reported that to date, 95% or 82 municipalities in the region, have already been lifted from the red zone or African Swine Fever (ASF)-affected areas. She also said that the DA is continuously distributing production support services through the provision of seeds, farm supplies, animals, and other farm inputs, including fertilizer vouchers and fuel subsidies to increase production in the agriculture sector.

Director Bares highlighted that for the previous year, the agriculture, forestry, and fishing (AFF) sector recorded 1.7% growth compared to 2021. She also ensures that the region has more than sufficient supply of rice, corn, and other primary agri-commodities.

Meanwhile, a total of P26 million worth of agri-machinery was given to five farmers’ associations during the forum. These include one four-wheel drive tractor each for 45 Tangid Farmers Association, Inc. and Zanjera San Magro Ragas Irrigators Association, Inc., one compbine harvester for the Laoag City Couthwest Corn Cluster Association, Inc., a hauling truck for the Bagnos Multi-Purpose Cooperative, and P20M INSPIRE Program for the Baggak Multi-Purpose Cooperative.

Aside from the said interventions, fresh agri-fishery produce were also sold at an affordable price through the Kadiwa sale.

The Post-SONA Forum, hosted by the Philippine Information Agency partnering with other line agencies and the local government units of Laoag City and Ilocos Norte, has served as an avenue in echoing the accomplishments and the plans by the government as expressed during the State of the Nation Address of the president in July.

Also present during the forum are Gov. Matthew Joseph Marcos Manotoc, Laoag City Mayor Michael Marcos Keon, DA Usec. Mercedita Sombilla as the keynote speaker, Mr. Edwin Carino representing Rep. Sandro Marcos, Asec. Ana Carmela Remigio, and farmer-leaders, among others.