The Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Proceso J. Alcala recently delivered calamity assistance to Albay worth P6 million, the first so far to subscribe to the Plan for Albay Glenda Early Recovery and Reconstruction (PAGERR).
The assistance forms part of the government’s quick response effort dubbed as Bicol Rehabilitation Assistance for Glenda –Agricultural Sector, aimed at propping up the badly hit region.
Albay posted a Zero Casualty score against Typhoon Glenda, which earned for it praises from no less than President Aquino in his State of the Nation Address. Albay however, sustained P9.3 billion in damages, most particularly in agriculture.
Albay Gov. Joey Salceda organize PAGERR following the declaration of state of calamity immediately after Glenda devastated the province. It is tasked to assess the needs, identify intervention options in specific sites and their beneficiaries, initiate responsive projects, and submit formative and summative reports to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
Secretary Alcala visited Albay Thursday last week. He lauded Albay’s effort to fast track its rehabilitation program through PAGERR. He noted that despite calamities, Albay’s agricultural production continues to grow.
Alcala turned over 1,000 bags of certified rice seeds, five (5) units of hand tractors, 9,000 packets of assorted vegetable seeds, 9,000 pieces of pili seedlings, 185 bags of hybrid corn seeds, 15 bags of open-pollenated variety corn seeds, 54 sets of garden tools and 1,000 pieces of laminated sacks or canvass pieces.
Salceda said Alcala was so far the first to subscribe to PAGERR, adding that the DA has previously a huge investment in Albay.
The governor said collaborations with DA has made Albay self sufficient in rice with production jumping from 73 percent in 2006 to 94 percent in 2013. Albay’s forest cover also grew by 88 percent, with an additional 10,000 hectares planted to trees last year.
PAGERR coordinated with Pag-IBIG recently and secured approval of its proposed loan scheme for the province who may need home repairs and improvement, with a maximum of P100,000 each barrower payable in 30 years at P750 per month amortization at a low interest rate at 4.5 percent per annum.
PAGERR had also worked out for deferral of instalment payments on housing and members loan for 12 months for all Albay-based members of the Social Security System and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).
Salceda said this means “P1.94 billion savings in payment outflows for 27,000 GSIS members – DepEd teachers and employees of LGU personnel and private institutions who reside or work in Albay. This translates to an inflow of about P600 million for emergency loans to some 30,000 beneficiaries including some 3,000 pensioners.
GSIS is infusing some P2.5 billion into the Albay economy to offset the massive capitalization, Salceda explained. /MP