Some 141 carabaos (water buffalo) were delivered to the Indigenous Peoples (IP) of Calinog. This was an initiative of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and Department of Agriculture Regional Office 6 (DA RO6) for the IP communities affected by the Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Stage II (JRMP II).
First batch of distribution was on September 6, 2018 with 87 heads of carabaos received by beneficiaries from barangays Binolusan Pequeño, Toyungan, Aglonok, Cahigon, Garangan, Supanga and Caratagan. No less than Engineer Gerardo P. Corsiga, NIA 6 Regional Manager and Ms. Ruth Cely Jamelo, Division Manager for Institutional Development led the distribution. Together with them was Director Arn Granada of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) Western Visayas, Calinog Vice Mayor Rene Hurtada and Calinog Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) head Jesus Coronado. Representing DA RO6 were Joenard Pagurayan, Novy Joy Calopez, Maelberne Gabayeron and Gemma Lazarte.
Second batch of beneficiaries were from barangays Hilwan, Tigbayog, Guinbonyugan, Masaroy, Binolusan Grande and Agcalaga. Both turnovers were held at Santa Regla Covered Gym in Alibunan, Calinog.
One of the beneficiaries, 64-year old Lopez Castor from barangay Caratagan, expressed that he was very happy to be chosen as one of the recipients.
Being a widow with five children, providing his family’s needs through farming is a big challenge. “Daku kaayo ang mabulig sang carabao sa akon panguma, (The Carabao would be of big help in my farming activities)”, Castor said.
“Tanan himuon ko para mahatag ko lang ang kinahanglanon sang akon mga kabataan (I will do everything to provide the needs of my children)”, he added.
Manong Lopez revealed that aside from farming he is into weaving of amakan and tabungos for extra income.
Meanwhile, Dr. Arn Granada of Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) Western Visayas committed to assist in the monitoring of Carabaos.
“Ang PCC mabulig upod ang DA kag NIA kaupod ang inyo officials sa barangay sa pag monitor sang mga carabaos. Kon pwede ko tani maayo ang data para basehan ang record sang animals (PCC together with DA, NIA and the barangay will help you in monitoring the carabaos. We will just ask for the data of the animals as basis of our records)”, he said.
He also added that PCC will provide medical assistance to the carabaos like treatment of diseases, provision of vita-minerals and monitoring of their breeding cycle.
On the second batch of distribution, Ms. Jamelo said that this livelihood program was stipulated in the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) during the Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) process.
Jamelo added that through the convergence of 27 government agencies, the Department of Agriculture (DA) allocated P14 million for the livelihood of the IPs.
“Di tanan matagaan sang carabao, pero aton padamuon para mapasa sa sunod nga benipisaryo (Not everybody can avail the carabaos as of now that is why we have to ensure that they will breed so we can pass them to other beneficiaries)”, said Ms. Jamelo.
Aside from the carabaos, pairs of goats, chickens and cows were also given out. /JP Ramon Salvilla