PBBM extends aid to farmers and fisherfolk in ZamPen amid El Niño crisis

ZAMBOANGA CITY (PIA) – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. expected to visit in Zamboanga City on Thursday, May 9 to personally extend and turnover the assistance to farmers and fisherfolk of Zamboanga Peninsula who were severely affected by El Niño crisis.
Presidential Communications Office Assistant Secretary and Task Force El Niño spokesperson Joey Villarama discussed the Socio-Civic Projects Fund (SCPF), previously known as the President’s Social Fund, which adheres to regulations on discretionary funds. The SCPF will provide Php10 million per province for assistance which includes Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga City, with scheduled turnovers to local government units (LGUs) ongoing.
President Marcos is set to provide cash assistance to a total of 3,881 beneficiaries in ZamPen identified by the Department of Agriculture. Among them, 844 are from Zamboanga City, 426 from Zamboanga del Norte, 544 from Zamboanga del Sur, and 2,067 from Zamboanga Sibugay.
As of the latest update, Asec. Villarama mentioned that 270 cities have declared a state of calamity due to various reasons, including agricultural damage and water crises. The assistance provided amounts to more than 2.5 billion pesos, primarily from the Department of Agriculture, in the form of financial aid, rice subsidies, farming inputs, and irrigation systems.
The assistance includes solar-powered irrigation systems and cash-for-work programs for farmers and fisherfolk. This initiative aims to alleviate the challenges faced by those affected by the El Niño phenomenon.

The task force’s focus is on providing direct assistance to affected individuals and communities, with the aim of addressing food security concerns, “President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. has repeatedly said that the farmers, fishermen, and their families should really be targeted because the priority of the administration of the President is food security,” Asec. Villarama said.
Further, Asec. Villarama also provided updates on the El Niño situation, highlighting the critical need to conserve resources such as water, electricity, and food. While conditions are expected to improve in the coming months, the task force remains vigilant in addressing the impacts of the El Niño phenomenon.

Media briefing on May 8 with Presidential Communications Office Asec. Joey Villarama for the assistance to farmers and fisherfolk in Zamboanga Peninsula.

The task force’s proactive approach and collaboration with national and local agencies underscore the government’s commitment to assisting communities affected by natural calamities like El Niño. The ongoing support and initiatives aim to ensure the resilience and well-being of Filipino farmers, fisherfolk, and their families. (MLE/PIA Region 9-Zamboanga City)