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ASEMCO relief
Acknowledging the sacrifices of health workers, the Almeria Seafarers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (ASEMCO) provided the Biliran Provincial Hospital with food packs. (Photo by Sharmaine Chelsea Morillo)

Biliran farmer organizations extend assistance amid COVID-19

By JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
April 7, 2020

NAVAL, Biliran – Regional Director Stephen Leonidas of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Eastern Visayas commended three DAR-assisted cooperatives in this province for their efforts to help ease the effect of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in their respective areas.

As everyone is directed to stay at home with the implementation of the community quarantine by the different local government units (LGUs) to contain the spread of COVID-19, three agrarian reform beneficiary organizations (ARBOs) felt the pressing needs of their members, particularly the elderly and the daily wage earners.

The Looc Cabucgayan Agrarian Reform Cooperative in Cabucgayan town through its chairman, Zacarias Leorag, distributed two kilos of Jaguar rice to each of their 117 members.

For the Lico Agrarian Reform Cooperative (LARCOOP) based in the capital town of Naval, relief assistance consisting of three-kilo rice, coffee, sugar, milk and meat were distributed to its members.

Aside from the members, chairperson Rebecca Payos said, LARCOOP also provided snacks and coffee to frontliners manning the provincial border checkpoint, as well as barangay checkpoints in Lico and PS Eamiguel villages.

LARCOOP Manager, Anamie Villegas Ibano, added that the members’ Interest on Capital and Patronage Refund (ICPR) were released early so the latter could use them at this point while we are facing this kind of crisis.

Meanwhile, the Almeria Seafarers Multi-Purpose Cooperative in the municipality of Almeria, which is also into catering service, through its manager Anita Corto, provided food packs for the health workers at the Biliran Provincial Hospital.

DAR Secretary John Castriciones appreciated the acts of generosity by the various ARBOs nationwide.

He described the farmers as the silent frontliners against COVID-19.

In his Facebook comment, Castriciones said, “Ito po ang kailangan nating gawin sa panahon na ito. Mabuhay po kayo and God bless po!”

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