October 19, 2017
SURALLAH, South Cotabato – Beneficiaries of the government’s agrarian reform program were encouraged to develop, sustain and expand the livelihood projects that are part of the comprehensive support services they receive from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
DAR OIC Secretary Rosalina Bistoyong spearheaded the distribution of various livelihood projects to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) in Barangay Centrala, Surallah, South Cotabato on Wednesday, October 18.
Bistoyong urged the beneficiaries to take care of the projects, make them sustainable to benefit the other ARBs in the area.
The distribution of livelihood projects was made possible through the joint efforts made by DAR, Pilmico Foods Corporation, a subsidiary of Aboitiz Equity Ventures and Aboitiz Foundation.
Bistoyong said the livelihood projects is the first Public Private Partnership (PPP) endeavor that DAR entered into to help ARBs augment their income.
A total of nine selected ARBs from three barangays in Surallah received egg-laying chickens with egg dispersal machines and hog dispersal kits.
“Our responsibilities do not end upon receipt of these livelihood projects. We need to ensure their sustainability to benefit the other ARBs,” she pointed out.
An increase of household income of ARBs through livelihood projects will also help end cases where awarded lands are leased or sold, Bistoyong emphasized.
The turnover ceremony was also joined by Apol B. Castro, vice president for corporate strategy and business development of Pilmico; Surallah Mayor Antonio Bendita; Director Leomides Villareal of the Public Affairs and Media Relations Service of DAR Central Office; DAR Region 12 Director Nasser M. Musali and other top DAR officials in the region.
In her message, Castro said the aim of the project is to develop and build a purpose-driven community through sustainable livelihood.
She also emphasized that support to ARBs in the area is part of the corporate social responsibility of Pilmico and Aboitiz Equity Ventures under the project “Mahalin Pagkaing Atin” which aims to support home-grown products and backyard farmers who aspire to become farmer-entrepreneurs.
Among the recipients present was Gloria Aguilar who expressed gratitude in lieu of her fellow beneficiaries.
Aguilar assured they will take care the projects, sustain and expand to elevate their way of life.
Mayor Bendita also thanked DAR and Pilmico for choosing the ARBs of Surallah as recipients of the project.
He also expressed full support to the thrusts and programs DAR to help farmers uplift their lives.