From the Sun Star-Davao (Apr 21): Davao farmers camped outside DA to seek aid
OVER 200 farmers are now camped in front of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Davao Region in Davao City to demand the release of relief assistance that is due them.
Sheena Duazo, Bayan Secretary General for Davao Region, said government has made pronouncements already that it has released millions of pesos to drought stricken areas but until now, farmers have yet to receive these claims.
Farmers from Davao del Sur, Compostela Valley, Davao Del Norte and Davao Oriental is already on the 2nd day of their 3-day "Kampuhan" that will end Friday, April 22.
The Kampuhan, spearheaded by Anakpawis Partylist with the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and Bayan in Southern Mindanao, is calling for justice to farmers who have long been suffering from the drought.
Duazo complained Davao City Police Office (DCPO) director Senior Superintendent Vicente Danao Jr.'s refused to allow the farmers to camp in the area and took away the tents that served as shield from protesting farmers.
"Humanitarian consideration nalang, dili ipatanggal ang atop sa among ginasilongan ug pasagdan mi nga malinawon mi nga mag-protesta diri hantod ugma (Do not take our shelter for humanitarian consideration and leave us to our peaceful protest until tomorrow)," Duazo said.
Some 100 members of the Special Weapons and Tactics (Swat) are also setting camp in the area since Wednesday evening, Duazo said.
DA-Davao Director for Research and Regulations Dr. Rafael Mercado, meanwhile, belied the claim of the group. He said the department has been intensifying its campaign in the region to mitigate the effects of the El Niño.
Various interventions for different provinces in the region were distributed like open-surface pumps, rice and corn seeds, mongo beans, peanuts among others seedlings.
The total cost of the assisted interventions reached P31.8 million with 19 thousand beneficiary farmers.
Cloud seeding operation was also undertaken to trigger rainfall, he said.
Mercado said the effectiveness of the procedure is evident to previous rainfalls that the people in drought-stricken areas have experienced.
Davao del Norte province and even Davao City experienced great rainfalls for the past few days, and partly Davao Del Sur as well, Mercado said.
"Kung taga Davao Region ka talaga, ma-obserbahan natin na since nung April 4, meron na tayong ulan-ulan. That was the launching of our cloud seeding operation," Mercado said.