The Department of Agriculture has given P10 million worth of Survival and Recovery (SURE) loans to farmers/fisherfolk of Marawi City who are adversely affected by continuing firefight between government forces and local terrorists, in some parts of the city whereby the same has started since May 23, 2017.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol also revealed the DA is also planning to seed the 35,000-hectare Lake Lanao, which straddles the city, with five million indigenous fish fingerlings to prepare the lake for fisher folk returning to their livelihood when the Marawi conflict ends.

The Department turned over P10 million last July 22, the DA chief said, in a bid to spur recovery of local farmers and fisher folk from economic losses inflicted by the battle to flush out ISIS-linked terrorists from the city.

The turnover was led by DA Undersecretary Ranibai Dilangalen, Piñol reported at a press conference this morning.

Each Marawi farmer identified by the regional DA office could avail of P25,000 in  non-interest loan, P5,000 thereof has already been distributed to the farmer-benificiaries, Dilangalen pointed out.

“The DA is the first agency to distribute cash relief to the Marawi farmer-evacuees under the Task Force Bangon Marawi (approved by President Rodrigo Duterte) for the recovery of Marawi,” Dilangalen said.

The DA also delivers weekly relief goods to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of National Defense (DND) for distribution to evacuees from the city and soldiers battling the insurgents, Piñol said.

The DA expects to receive, the DA chief said, a fresh donation of 100,000 ready-to-eat halal food packs from Ana’s Breeder Farm, owned by the Suy family of Davao City, for distribution to the affected farmers and soldiers.

The Suy family has already made an initial donation of halal-certified food packs.

The DA has coordinated with the DND to identify the safe and best area in Lake Lanao to sow the fingerlings, Piñol said.

He said that most fisher folk of Lanao and Marawi are currently unable to fish in Lake Lanao because of the security concerns.

Piñol said the DA would also distribute 500 new fiberglass fishing boats to fisher folk of the city and province. (DA-OSEC)