By Mike U. Crismundo

BUTUAN CITY – The Army’s 403rd Infantry (Peacemaker) Brigade received farm equipment in an effort to further develop the agricultural sector in some conflict-affected areas in Bukidnon province.

The agricultural equipment includes three units of McCormick C110 Max tractors with 100 horsepower four-wheel drive and accessories such as trailing harrow, disc plow, and trailer.

The Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10) recently turned-over the said three units of farm tractor to the 403rd Brigade in Impasugong town, Bukidnon province.

DA 10 OIC-Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado led the turnover of said farm equipment worth P7.470 million to 403rd Brigade commander Col. Ferdinand T. Barandon.

Col. Barandon will then turn them over to the three Army Battalion units under its operational control namely 8th Infantry (Dependable) Battalion (8th IB); 88th Infantry (Maringal) Battalion (88th IB); and 1st Special Forces (Anytime, Anywhere) Battalion.

The assistance is in support to the DA’s thrust in increasing productivity and income of farmers in remote communities, thus reducing poverty among the marginalized sectors in agriculture and fishery in pursuit of the country’s peace agenda.

The support is also in line with Executive Order No. 70 signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, which aims to end local communist armed conflict.

Meanwhile, 8th IB commander Lt. Col. Edgardo Talaroc Jr., said the distribution of farm equipments is part of the government’s efforts to continuously achieve peace and development, especially in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas.

He urged the farmers to cooperate with the government’s projects and programs and reminded them not to be swayed by false promises of the New People’s Army (NPA).

On the other hand, Col. Barandon also explained that the farm equipment will greatly help farmers in boosting its crop yields, which translates to less risks of NPA influence.

He said this move aims to address the root causes of insurgency through focused, coordinated and sustained delivery of basic services and social development packages by the government in far-flung areas in region 10.

“Rest assured that these farm equipment will be maximized in helping conflict-affected areas into becoming productive and resilient communities,” Col. Barandon added.