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Merida, Leyte farmers
The Municipal Agrarian Reform Office in Merida, Leyte, under Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer Amita Barte, successfully linked the Mat-e Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association (MARBA) to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in Isabel, Leyte as institutional buyer for the farmer’s harvests. (Photo by MARO Amita Barte)

BJMP signs marketing agreement with Merida farmers

Press Release
February 26, 2021

MERIDA, Leyte – Another agrarian reform beneficiaries’ organization (ARBO) from the western part of the province of Leyte recently entered into a marketing agreement with an institutional buyer for their harvests.

OIC-Regional Director Ismael P. Aya-ay disclosed that the Mat-e Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association (MARBA), based in this fifth-class municipality, became the 15th ARBO in Eastern Visayas to be linked successfully to an institutional buyer by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) under the Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) program.

Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer (MARPO) Amita Barte reported that the signing of the marketing agreement took place on February 3 at her office and in front of MARBA president, Carllito Dela Cruz and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) District Jail Warden, SJO4 Basilio Madula Jr.

Also present in the event were MARPO staff Mateo Maratas and BJMP Jail Officer 2 Allan Perez. Barte explained that in their agreement, the BJMP of Isabel town will purchase food supplies from the DAR-assisted farmer organization, such as vegetables and poultry products, to be used in feeding persons deprived of liberty (PDL). BJMP will buy MARBA’s products based on the prevailing market price, and will pick them up in a designated area, she added.

Under the EPAHP, according to Aya-ay, instead of buying food supplies elsewhere, the city/district/municipality jails as well as the Department of Health’s-retained hospitals are encouraged to procure food supplies for the feeding of PDLs and in-patients, respectively, from the ARBOs, which is allowed by the Government Procurement Policy Board thru Resolution No. 17-2016. He also emphasized that under the program, farmers are guaranteed a ready market for their products while hospitals and jails are assured of freshly harvested fruits and vegetables.

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