By Donna Rempillo

Camp Olivas, City of San Fernando, PAMPANGA – Department of Agriculture
Secretary William Dar had expressed his support of the Balik Probinsya Bagong Pag-
asa Program which was recently signed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte as Executive
Order 114.

“Ang kagawaran ng pagsasaka ay isa sa mga major departments na tutulong ensuring
food security, [ The Department of Agriculture is one of the major departments ensuring
food security] Agriculture will be there to really see to it that there is enough food on
resettlement areas, there is enough livelihood and opportunity and negosyo [business]
of the resettlement area” Sec. William Dar said.

The DA secretary, upon his guesting on Rektang Konek Aksyon Agad multimedia
platform program aired from Central Luzon Regional Police Office, has enumerated
programs of the department which can be availed of by the Balik Probinsya Bagong
Pagasa beneficiaries.

“Sa mga Balik Probinsya po matutukan po sila libre po ang seeds, seedlings and biik,
todo-todo natin suportahan, Meron loans na available para sa mga magsasaka’t
mangingisda, nagbibigay po kami 25 thousand, 0 interest payable in 10 years, Meron
din para sa mga magnenegosyo sa agrikultura na makakakuha ng 10 million pesos at
zero interest payable in 5 years [Those Balik Probinsya beneficiaries will be assisted by
providing them free seeds, seedlings, and breed of animals. We have loans available
for farmers and fisherfolk; we give as much as 25 thousand on a zero interest payable
in 10 years. For those who will enter agriculture business, (they can loan) as much 10
million pesos at zero interest payable in 5 years] the secretary enumerated.

One of the functions of the Balik Probinsya Program pertained to strengthening
agriculture activity and fostering long term and sustainable development in the agricultural sector.

DA’s program on high value crops will help this objective by ensuring food security for each family and even secure an income by selling these crops to the market.

Recently, the DA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Philippine National
Police Region 3 in launching Kalig-kasan Ecopark, Food Highway, and Rektang
Bayanihan Food Bank, three projects in support of the Balik Probinsya Program.

“Food Highway Project and PRO3 Food Bank are strategic mechanisms that can
alleviate problems that may be encountered from end-to-end of the food supply system
under the New Normal dispensation,” Police Regional Director Police Brigadier General Rhodel Sermonia said.

“(With) the creation of an express lane and logistics system, we will have a rapid and secure
movement of food products from the farmers and other food producers of Central Luzon
to the buyers of NCR and other parts of the country at the same time the food supply in
Region 3 will be sufficient and continuously sustained” he futhered.