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Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William D. Dar has granted P202.5 million to develop agricultural facilities in Tanauan City, San Jose, and Ibaan, Batangas. He immediately announced the granting of this financial support to farmers and fisherfolk when he visited Tanauan City and San Jose on August 28, 2020.


“I am looking forward to seeing a major improvement in the productivity of our commodities, with the help of this additional support, so we can achieve a food-secure and resilient Batangas,” Sec. Dar said.


The secretary also stated that the agricultural sector recorded a 1.6 percent increase in gross domestic product in the current coronavirus pandemic, giving credit to the resilience and hard work of farmers and fisherfolk who are continuously doing their job in the current crisis.


Sec. Dar has visited the AAA slaughterhouse and trading post in Brgy. Sambat. He has given an additional P50 million to the city government to construct a cutting facility so that they can no longer import poultry products. Moreover, the DA chief gave the trading post a P50-million boost which according to him still needs to be improved for the same reason of not having to import from other areas. 


He expressed gratitude to Tanauan city government for the continued operation of both the “katayan” and “bagsakan.” 


“These establishments serve their purpose and that is to provide sufficient food not only for the city but also for nearby areas. I am now challenging the city government of Tanauan to expand its slaughterhouse by providing a poultry cutting area and improving its trading post to ensure adequate food supply in Tanauan,” the secretary said.


During his visit to the Batangas Egg Producers’ Cooperative (BEPCO) in San Jose, Sec. Dar allocated P50-million funding for the municipality through the San Jose Workers’ Multi-Purpose Cooperative to provide a cutting facility for broilers and native chicken and spent hen, as well as a dressing plant.


In addition, DA CALABARZON, headed by Regional Executive Director Arnel V. de Mesa, has awarded the cooperative P2.5 million for the KAtuwang sa DIwa at GaWA (KADIWA) ni Ani at Kita project to remain operational and be part of the regional office’s objective of directly bringing farmers’ produce to consumers. 


The secretary also pledged to fund a multiplier breeder farm for San Jose. He then instantly declared the municipality the “Egg Processing Capital of the Philippines” by putting it on paper.


Congresswoman Lianda Bolilia, the 4th District Representative of Batangas, expressed her utmost gratitude to DA’s unwavering support for the entire district towards the farmers. She also thanked Director de Mesa for being very helpful, accommodating, and cooperative. 


“Thank you for making the district part of your plans to boost the region’s agriculture even during the COVID-19 pandemic…I can’t wait for the municipality of San Jose to be institutionalized as the country’s egg processing capital,” she said.


Afterwards, Sec. Dar visited the Lagaya Family Farm in Brgy. Anus along with other DA officials. They discussed the farm’s plan with Mr. Rolando Lagaya, farm owner, to increase the municipality’s corn production that can be fed to poultry and livestock. DA CALABARZON will look closely to close the loop until 2022 as directed by the secretary. 


Moreover, Sec. Dar provided Ibaan local government unit with P50 million. This monetary investment would help the municipality have a cold storage facility of its own. With this, Ibaan can now store perishable, fresh and frozen fruits or vegetables, meat, and poultry products to preserve product quality for potential marketing use. 


With these provisions, the DA chief reiterated, “We will provide whatever the government can to ensure that we have sufficient food supplies today and in the future.” • (MAP, DA-RAFIS)