LAOAG CITY, November 30 (PIA) – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Ilocos region has recently distributed livelihood assistance to some 105 drought-affected farmers from Pinili, Ilocos Norte.
On November 26, Labor Sec. Silvestre H. Bello III led the turn-over of P1,155,000 worth of assistance to Pinili Mayor Samuel Pagdilao, Sr.
“Hindi po pala kailangang maging tigang din ang bulsa pag tigang ang lupa, (Drought season doesn’t mean dry pockets),” said Aurelio Fernandez, one of the beneficiaries.
Fernandez, from barangay Valbuena, regained his hope after receiving livelihood assistance from the labor department.
Like Fernandez, other farmers in Pinili town reported that the El Nino phenomenon has affected their farmlands since January and has destroyed their vegetables and garlic crops.
The dry spell has resulted in significant reduction in farming productivity and revenue.
With the DOLE’s livelihood assistance, the affected farmers need not rely solely on farming for income because they are given alternative livelihood from livestock production and selling, dairying and bull services.
“Each farmer-beneficiary will be given one caraheifer worth P35,000 while two farmers will have one bull each worth P50,000,” DOLE-1 Regional Director Henry John Jalbuena said.
Taken from the Kabuhayan component of the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP), the assistance forms part of the labor agency’s contribution to the government’s efforts to mitigate the impacts of the El Niño on farmers who are among the DOLE’s marginalized clients.
Meanwhile, water and irrigation experts advised farmers here to use the alternate wet and dry (AWD) method on the province’s farmlands to counter the effect of dry period. (Cherry Joy D. Garma/PIA-1, Ilocos Norte with reports from Arly Sta. Ana-Valdez of DOLE-1)