DA: Metro Manila’s supply of agricultural products enough for ECQ

Marje Pelayo   •   August 5, 2021   •   275


MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) assures Metro Manila has enough supply of agricultural products for the duration of the two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

According to Agriculture Assistant Secretary Kristine Evangelista, the agency will mobilize rolling stores during ECQ to bring farmers’ produce near the affected communities.

“Mayroon na po tayo ngayong mga truck na may dalang gulay. Ikino-coordinate din po namin ito sa mga local government units para at least yung areas, barangays who need the most ma-cater po natin ang kanilang pangangailangan,” Evangelista said.

Specifically, 10 Kadiwa trucks will be visiting various locations in Metro Manila where consumers may be able to buy basic farm products like chicken, pork, vegetables, and rice among others.

Products are available for wholesale or retail, the official said.

The DA assures all products in their Kadiwa stores are way cheaper than those available in public markets.

Also, on-site Kadiwa stores located at the DA Central office compound and other areas in Metro Manila will remain open.

Meanwhile, transporter of goods or delivery services especially of perishable items are still allowed under ECQ provided they present their food pass which can be obtained from DA.

“We have our database so yung mga na-issue-han last year na nasa database naman po mas mabilis po maiisyuhan ngayon in case nawala nila yung food pass nila. Kung hindi naman po nila nawala ay valid po yan,” Evangelista stressed.

The DA said that although the supply is enough, the prices may vary depending on the prevailing weather condition.

Quezon City completes distribution of ECQ ‘ayuda 2’ to 2.3 million residents

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 30, 2021

The Quezon City government has completed the distribution of P2.48 billion financial assistance to its residents.

As of August 28, a total of 2,339,420 individuals or 747,520 families have claimed their P1,000 to P4,000 aid from different distribution centers in the city.

The local government reported that the aid distribution was completed five days earlier than the deadline set by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said the city has also begun distribution of unclaimed ayuda. She reported that there are still 89,154 households that have yet to claim their financial aid.

According to Social Services Development Department (SSDD) head Fe Macale, the city had updated the beneficiary list to remove ineligible and duplicate names days before the ayuda distribution.

“Kaya naging mabilis at maayos ang distribution natin ngayon kasi malinis na ang listahan natin. Inayos natin ito para ma-update ang listahan at mabigyan ang mga residenteng nararapat talagang mabigyan ng ayuda (The distribution has been fast and orderly because our list is organized. We updated the list to make sure eligible residents will receive aid),” she said.

Beneficiaries who have yet to get their ECQ ayuda 2 are advised to monitor the QC government Facebook page and website for further announcements.

Meanwhile, a grievance and appeals committee was stationed in payout sites to address the complaints of constituents regarding financial aid.

Kapag may natitira pang pondo pagkatapos nating maibigay ‘yung ayuda para sa mga unclaimed (should there be excess in the funds after the distribution for the unclaimed has been released), residents who filed grievances or complaints will now be subject for payout,” Macale added. AAC

Philippines to export more mangoes, pineapples to US

Robie de Guzman   •   August 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — More Philippine-grown mangoes and pineapples will soon be exported to the United States, the Department of Agriculture (DA) announced.

The DA said the development comes after its Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) and the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) reached a deal during a virtual meeting held on August 12.

“Expanding the export market of Philippine pineapples and mangoes in the US and other countries will not only enhance our national economy, but more importantly, provide increased incomes to thousands of farmers and their families in pineapple- and mango-producing provinces nationwide,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in a statement.

The recent agreement between the APHIS and BPI could dramatically increase the country’s exports of pineapples and resume shipments of mangoes to the US via additional ports of entry, he added.

The Philippines currently exports fresh pineapples to the US through Guam, Commonwealth of Marianas Island, and North Atlantic regions. From 2013 to July 15, 2021, exports amounted to only 346,190 kilograms.

The country previously exported fresh mangoes to the US, from 2005 to 2008, totaling 386,099 kilograms, all produced in Guimaras Island, the DA added.

The DA said USDA-APHIS accepted evidence that the Philippines’ main export pineapple variety is not a host to the oriental fruit fly.

The fruit pest, known scientifically as Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel), is very destructive and often finds its way into the US, sometimes triggering wide-scale eradication programs.

The Philippines may start shipping pineapples to various US markets before year-end, the DA said.

2 empleyado ng Pasig LGU, sangkot sa modus operandi sa ECQ ayuda

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 20, 2021

Bistado ang isang modus operandi sa pamamahagi ng ayuda mula sa social amelioration program (SAP) ng pamahalaan sa isang distribution site sa Pasig City.

Batay sa ulat ng Pasig City Police Station, dalawang kawani ng lokal na pamahalaan ang naglalagay sa listahan ng pangalan ng indibidwal na magpapanggap na benepisyaryo ng ayuda.

Kasabawat ng mga ito ay dalawang fixer na magre-recruit ng mga pekeng benepisyaryo at papipilahin sa payout site. P4,000 ayuda ang nakukubra ng mga ito sa bawat transaksyon.

Pagkatapos pumila at makuha ang mga ayuda sa distribution site, kukunin ng mga fixer ang bahagi ng pera na nakuha nito.

“Ibabalik sa kanila noong mga nakakubra ang P3,000. Ito namang mga kinausap nila, P1,000 na lang ang matitira sa kanila at tsaka ang ayudang ibinigay,” ayon kay Community Affairs Section of Pasig City Police Station Officer-in-Charge PLT. Catherine Deligente.

Isinumbong ng isang concerned citizen sa pulisya ang modus operandi.

Agad namang nagsagawa ng entrapment operation ang mga pulis na nagresulta sa pagkakadakip ng hindi bababa sa 10 suspek kung saan ilan ay hindi taga Pasig City.  Labingtatlo sa mga suspek ay isinasailalim na sa inquest proceedings upang sampahan ng mga kaso kabilang na ang paglabag sa Anti-red Tape Act.

Posible namang maharap sa kasong sa estafa at paglabag sa Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act ang mga LGU personnel.

Ayon kay Mayor Vico Sotto, 1,000 staff ang nagpapagod para maging maayos ang pamamahagi ng ayuda samantalang hindi nabibigyan ang lahat ng cash aid.

“1,000 staff natin ang nagpapagod para maging maayos ang pamamahagi ng ayuda. Alam nating hindi kaya bigyan lahat ng cash ayuda mula sa nasyonal, pero basta’t walang korapsyon o palakasan, okay tayo,” aniya.

Ngunit hindi pa rin aniya talaga maalis-alis sa utak ng ibang tao ang panlalamang sa kapwa.

Iniimbestigahan na ng mga pulis kung may iba pang sangkot at katulad na pananamantala sa iba pang lugar sa lungsod. (mula sa ulat ni Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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