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In Caraga, 3.8K farmers and fishermen will benefit from a fuel subsidy.

BUTUAN CITY, PHILIPPINES – A one-time PHP3,000 fuel subsidy will be offered to each of 3,802 corn farmers and fisherfolk in the Caraga Region to soften the impact of an increase in oil prices on the agriculture sector.

“Around 2,186 fisherman and 1,616 corn growers are among the 3,802 beneficiaries of the gasoline subsidy,” Department of Agriculture – Caraga (DA-13) Director Ricardo Oate Jr. said during a press conference Monday.

According to Oate, DA-13 and its affiliated organizations, such as the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Caraga Region (BFAR-13), are also preparing the list of names of subsidy recipients.

Last Monday, the national government approved a PHPP2.5 billion provision for the Department of Transportation’s fuel subsidy program, as well as a PHP500 million fuel grant for the DA.

In a separate interview, Marissa Garces, the DA-13 rice focus person, said the subsidy will cover the fuel needs of farmers in the region’s various corn clusters’ equipment and machines.

“We have 34 corn clusters scattered across Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, and Surigao del Sur,” Garces explained.

She claims that each cluster covers at least 400 hectares of cornfields in the area.

According to Omina Olama, the chief of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources – 13 fisheries management, regulation, and enforcement division, the subsidy will cover both sea and inland fishermen in the region.

“We’re still working on the roster of fishermen, as well as the places that the program will cover.” Areas with a large concentration of production, as well as those badly impacted by Typhoon Odette in Caraga Region, are among the considerations,” Olama stated.

Meanwhile, Jasmine Reyes, the coordinator of the Philippine Rice Research Institute – Agusan’s Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), said the agency is giving 136,000 bags of certified inbred rice seeds to the region.

“Around 54,000 rice farmers in the provinces of Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, and Surigao del Sur would gain from this,” Reyes added.

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