Due to the lockdown in two municipalities of Cagayan, farmers/fisherfolks are now regulated to move to sell their produce, the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office No. 02 (DA-RFO 02) and Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita, operated by DA-R02 Employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative (DA-MPC) and Southern Cagayan Research Center (SCRC) Employees Cooperative had immediately interceded by procuring 4 MT of watermelon from Mr. Rudy Gubatan of Barangay San Miguel, Baggao and 3 MT of cabbage from Southern Cagayan Farmers MPC, Sto. Nino.

Due to the rise of COVID-19 incidences in Tuguegarao City, drivers of vehicles and farmers delivering their products are being monitored by LGUs and require them to undertake a 14-day quarantine after that affects the continuous bringing out of products and farmers are complaining of.

“Because of this problem, DA-RFO 02 initiated to help farmers sell their produce in spite of the regulated lockdown now being implemented in these municipalities,” said Regional Executive Director Narciso A. Edillo.

“Our office and other Kadiwa outlets in Region 02 are ready to assist our farmers in marketing their products.”

The executive director emphasized that DA in tandem with Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Philippine National Police (PNP) are working closely in the implementation of unhampered movements of agricultural products, farmers/fisherfolk, farm and agribusiness workers during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) as supported by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID).

“Sad to say that there are still local government units (LGUs) that are not abiding by this policy,” he added.

“Again, we are reaching out to our local officials to cooperate and support the unhampered movement policy because we are not only protecting our farmers/fisherfolk but ensuring food availability, accessibility, and affordability in this abnormal situation.”

Recently, DILG Secretary Eduardo Ano reiterated this through advisory to all LGUs to comply; if not, there will face administrative sanctions.

For his part, Gubatan is thankful to DA and Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita for the support extended to him.

“Ako po ay nagpapasalamat sa mabilis nilang pag-aksiyon at naibenta ko na rin ang aking mga produkto dito sa Tuguegarao City,” he said.

“Napakalaking tulong ito sa aking pamilya dahil kung hindi ay nasayang lang ang aming pawis at lakas at nauwi lamang sa wala at pagkalugi. Makakabayad na rin kami sa mga pinagkakautangan ng budget sa pagsasaka.”

Meanwhile, the ten (10) members of the Southern Cagayan Farmers Cooperative are appreciative of the support extended to them by the department through its Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita.

“Sa wakas, naibenta rin namin ang aming mga produkto. Napakalaking tulong ito sa pang-araw-araw na pangangailangan ng aming mga pamilya,” anila.