THE Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-6) regional office opened 2017 by releasing modernized and more efficient farm machineries, tools and equipment to the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Catmon in Sibalom, Antique, just in time for the start of the third cropping for 100 members of United Farmers Association of Catmon (UFAC).
DOLE-6 released earlier a check for P1 million to the said LGU, which is the project proponent under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP).
The fund will be used to purchase various farm machineries and technologies such as floating tiller, hand tractor, knapsack sprayer, power sprayer, pump and engine set, rice reaper, rice seed cleaner and rice thresher.
These farm machineries are intended to assist the farmers make farming less arduous and a lot rewarding with plentiful farm yields.
These will also help them save time and efforts for they will no longer endure the traditional way of farming by using modernized farm machineries. The pump and engine set alone will be of great help since water supply is one of the problems encountered by the farmers.
Punong Barangay Juline V. Cuayson extended his appreciation and gratitude to the DOLE for making their barangay the recipient of the livelihood project.
He enjoined the support and cooperation of the barangay officials in the proper use of the farm machineries so they will benefit and serve more farmers not only of Barangay Catmon but also of neighboring barangays who are mostly leasing farm machineries to plow their rice fields, clean weeds and, eventually, harvest their farm produce.
The farm machineries will be used for free by farmer-beneficiaries of UFAC and can be rented by other farmers who are non-members of the organization. The income to be generated from the rental will be used for the maintenance of the equipment and for other future projects of the organization.
UFAC President Conrado E. Gamad shared the same hope and optimism that the modernized and efficient farm machineries and equipment provided by DOLE will go a long way in increasing the farm produce and improve the lives of farmers. He said their organization is so thankful to the DOLE for the great privilege accorded them being the recipient of such beneficial and advantageous livelihood undertaking.
During the turn-over ceremony and blessing of farm machineries, Ms. Lorraine S. Villegas, Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of DOLE Antique Field Office represented DOLE 6 OIC-Regional Director Salome O. Siaton.
Villegas expressed her appreciation to officials of Barangay Catmon and the officers of the organization for their cooperation and support in making the project possible for the farmers of Barangay Catmon.
She encouraged the beneficiaries to properly manage and utilize the farm machineries, tools and equipment so they can help more farmers increase their farm produce and transform their lives and their families.
Anthony Abut, Agricultural Technician of LGU-Sibalom, encouraged them to strengthen and support their organization so they can access to more livelihood assistance from government agencies like the DOLE. He challenged the Project Management Team in the proper management and utilization of what have been entrusted to them.
“This is only the beginning, more are coming,” he said.