PARACELIS, Mountain Province – Rice farmers from the municipalities of Bauko, Tadian, Natonin and Paracelis gathered at Sinigpit Corn Feed Mill to witness and receive the certificates of completed irrigation projects and other interventions from the Cordillera office of the Department of Agriculture (DA-CAR) on November 10, 2022.
The activity was part of the celebration of the National Rice Awareness Month by virtue of Presidential Proclamation NO. 524, s. 2004 which coincides with the anniversary of the Philippine Rice Research Institute created under Executive Order 1061 on November 5, 1985.
The government recognizes the role of rice in providing food and in helping alleviate poverty among Filipino, thus, proclaiming the month of November each year as the National Rice Awareness Month.
Paracelis Municipal Administrator Raldon Angsofian representing Mayor Djarma Rafael welcomed the participants while David I. Sumalag, officer-in-charge of APCO Mountain Province gave the rationale of the activity.
Mountain Province Congress Representative Maximo Y. Dalog, Jr., represented by Florencio Balog-ang, expressed his full support to rice farmers. He narrated the agricultural history of Paracelis being an eye witness. He said that during the 80’s, the land of promise used to be a rich plantation of coffee and narra trees before the farmers converted their products to corn and banana. He concluded that the office of the Dalog is open to resolutions that would help the farmers.
In his message, Governor Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. congratulated the municipality of Paracelis because they are agriculturally rich and they are mostly the beneficiary of interventions from the government. He emphasized the importance of rice in the life of the mountaineers. He said that during their childhood, rice is very precious as it done manually from planting until it will be served in the table as food.
While message of DA Regional Executive Director Cameron P. Odsey was relayed by David I. Sumalag which focused on all the different agricultural interventions given by the department to the province. He highlighted the data that 80 percent of the DA-CAR was allotted to rice farmers. It only shows how important the rice industry sector for the welfare of our country, he said.
After all the messages of support, words of appreciation and gratitude were also expressed by the farmer representatives from the different municipalities.
Before the program ended, staff from the DA-CAR awarded the certificates to different stakeholders including the provincial government which received an amount of PhP 97,238,402.00 worth of seeds, fertilizers, and soil ameliorants for the 2022 wet cropping season and dry cropping season of 2022-2023 and rice competitiveness enhancement fund-rice farmers financial assistance program FY 2022 in support to rice production.