The Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) began to coordinate with concerned local government units (LGUs) to conduct relief operations in Ilocos Norte. The activity is in partnership with the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).
The distribution of milled rice and packs of vegetable seeds started on April 23, 2020. Ten municipalities in Ilocos Norte including the City of Batac, Paoay, Sarrat, Marcos, Piddig, Burgos, Pasuquin, Vintar, Banna and Solsona were the municipalities that received almost three tons of milled rice and 3,000 packs of assorted vegetable seeds. A total of 1,000 families benefited from the relief operations.
Aside from coordinating with LGUs, MMSU, through the funding of PCAARRD, purchased milled rice from farmer cooperators. This will assist them by providing income and at the same time provide food to the indigent families in COVID-19 affected areas in Ilocos Norte.
The initiative is through the project titled, Science-based Emergency Assistance in Response to COVID 19 Crisis in Ilocos Norte” under the leadership of Dr. Dionisio S. Bucao of MMSU with funding from DOST-PCAARRD. This collaboration will conclude on June 5, 2020.
The said initiative will help partner LGUs with Zanjera organizations and other rice growers in selected municipalities of Ilocos Norte and at the same time provide food to the affected indigent families.
DOST-PCAARRD is one of the sectoral councils of the DOST, which is mandated to formulate policies, plans, and programs for science and technology-based R&D in the different sectors under its concern. It coordinates, evaluates, and monitors the national R&D efforts in the AANR sector. It also allocates government and external funds for R&D and generates resources to support its program.