MANILA, Philippines – Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar on his social media account encourages provincial governments to support local farmers by buying their harvest.
The Secretary lauded the provincial government of Nueva Ecija under Governor Ojie Umali for putting up a total of P200-M capital which they would utilize to buy wet palay from local farmers at P15 a kilogram.
“We request all other Governors in the top 30 rice-producing provinces to do the same,” Secretary Dar said.
Under such program, the provincial government will be the one to dry, mill and sell the rice to the public after it purchased wet palay from farmers.
The DA, for its part, meanwhile, will help in facilitating loans with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) using the provincial government’s internal revenue allotment (IRA) as collateral, according to Dar.
“We will have the NFA unutilized warehouses leased with the Provincial Governments. The DA with the Region 3 unit transferred certificates of grant assistance to the Provincial Governor worth P150- M,” Dar explained.
“Tulungan natin ang lahat nating magsasaka (Let us help our farmers),” he concluded.
Instead of counting earnings from their harvest, several farmers in a number of warehouses in Bongabon, Nueva Ecija count what’s left of their produce to sell after more than 30,000 bags of red and white onions had rotted in some cold storage facilities.
Rotten, not rotten—they segregate. They were supposed to sell them this August but to their dismay, they found most of the onions kept in the storage are already spoiled.
Around P15 million market value was lost due to the incident.
Jayson Leonardo from the Bongabon Municipal Agriculture Office speculates that the onions may have had defects even before they were put in storage.
“Una po iyong quality ng sibuyas sakto po ba iyong maturity ng ating sibuyas. Then noong ipinasok po ba ay wala po bang prevalence ng sakit ng fungi atsaka po siguro pwede rin natin i-consider iyong quality po ng storage na pinapasukan (First would be the quality of the onions. Were they matured enough? When they were put it in storage, were there no prevalence of fungi? We can also consider the quality of the storage itself),” he said.
There is also a possibility, Leonardo added, that traders kept the onions inside cold storage facilities for too long to increase its value.
Affected farmers and traders sought aid from the Department of Agriculture (DA) due to the huge losses they sustained from the rotten onions.
“Talagang sobrang lugi na po iyong mga traders ng sibuyas at sigurado po ang maaapektuhan dito ay mga farmers. Halos sa ngayon wala nang puhunan, hindi po nababalik ang puhunan ng mga traders sa mga nag-stock o naglagay po sa storage (The onion traders really had huge losses and this affects the farmers. There is almost no profit, there’s no return of investment for the traders who put stocks in the storage),” Gregorio Pessa said, one of the traders.
This is the second time that an incident involving spoiled onions in cold storage facilities had occurred since 2002.
The UNTV news team in Nueva Ecija asked the cold storage management for a comment but they refused.
The management said they have already submitted a report to the Bureau of Plants and Industry (BPI) about the incident. —AAC (with reports from Danny Munar)
ERRATUM: A previous version of this article stated that the cold storage facilities were located in Bongabon, Nueva Ecija. For clarification, the facilities are located in Palayan City.
“I didn’t have any clue kung ano ang daloy ng play, as in 0%! Talagang expect the unexpected. God is so amazing dahil binigay niya itong Rak of Aegis as part of my journey. Tunay nga ang kasabihan na kung para sa’yo, para sa’yo talaga, (I didn’t have any clue about the flow of the play, as in 0%. It was really an “expect the unexpected” moment. God is so amazing for giving me Rak of Aegis as part of my journey. What people say is really true: if it’s meant for you, it will be yours),”Kimberly said.
What is it like working with the team and other famous singers?
Sobrang nakakainspire (It’s so inspiring), and knowing them more and hearing their experiences make me feel motivated. Also, [they inspire in me] the eagerness to explore and learn more.
What is your most unforgettable experience with the production so far?
For me, the most unforgettable experience is the bonding and family-like relationship that has been established among the Rak of Aegis cast. Dito ko na feel na pantay-pantay kaming lahat. Walang mas sikat o bago. At lahat rin nagtutulungan. Walang lamangan o pagalingan. Magkasama sa hirap at ginahawa (They never made me feel anything less than an equal. No one is a star or a newbie. Everyone helps each other. There is no competition. We are together through thick and thin). [During performances] pinapalakas nila loob ko, (they encourage me) to stand strong and face my fears.
What is your next goal after Rak of Aegis?
I don’t have any goals yet after this. I will keep trusting God’s plan in my life dahil ang plano niya ang the best, (because His plan is the best).
What is your advice for singers who would also like to perform in a musical?
Don’t ever ever give up and just be yourself. Huwag kang mag padala sa takot at kaba (Don’t let fear and anxiety drag you down). When you dream, aim high. Stay humble and don’t forget to thank God for everything that He has given you.
Kimberly’s ultimate goal and wish as a singer is to have a solo concert, release an album, serve as an inspiration to others, and be of help to the less fortunate especially abandoned children.
Rak of Aegis is Kimberly’s first professional theater experience
The iconic original Pinoy musical will have its 7th run starting on July 5 to September 29 at the PETA theater. — aac
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