DAVAO CITY.  In its two-day Rice Relief Operations, the Region XI NIS & CIS Confederation of Irrigators Associations (RCIA XI) led by its President Mr. Saturnino D. Simbajon with the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), Region XI under the leadership of Regional Manager Jimmy L. Apostol distributes 400 sacks of Rice to about 4,000 earthquake victims of Davao del Sur on February 20-21, 2020.

          Davao del Sur Davao City Federation of Irrigators Associations (DSDCFIA), Inc. represented by its president Mr. Zacarias Awing, as he himself and the farmers in the Irrigators Associations (IAs) are affected,  took the initiative to requested RCIA XI for a Rice Relief Operation following the recount of their situation as earthquake victims and the need for the provision of the staple food.  Mr. Awing said that immediately aftermath of the earthquake measuring 6.8 magnitude with an intensity of VII (Very Strong) that struck the province of Davao del Sur on December 15, 2019 and the succeeding aftershocks, people swarmed all over the open spaces staying in makeshift tents for fear of residing back in their damaged houses amongst the rubbles that the quakes rolled down.  Assistance were extended but sustenance were sought to somehow bring the victims near the pre-disaster condition.

          The sacks of rice raised by RCIA XI is a collective effort of all the IAs in NIA XI’s  national and communal irrigation systems which donated more rice to RCIA.  On February 20, 2020, RCIA XI  turned over the rice to the DSDCFIA to lead the distribution of rice in a simple ceremony at NIA Davao del Sur IMO in Digos City attended by the RCIA BOTs, Davao del Sur IAs, NIA Davao del Sur IMO Staff and the NIA XI Regional Staff. 

          The two-day rounds of rice distribution set off rice deliveries to Six (6) Parishes in the Davao del Sur Municipalities at 50 sacks each.  On February 20, 2020. the group transported rice to Balutakay San Isidro Sinayawan Farmers IA (BASISFIA), Inc. in Hagonoy, Davao del Sur.  Moving on that day, the group proceeded to the parish in Municipality of Kiblawan where the sacks of rice were turned over to the local priest and onward to the church in Magsaysay Municipality. The day concluded in the delivery of rice at Bansalan, Davao del Sur.  The next day, February 21, 2020, for the second round, the group dropped 50 sacks of rice at Hagonoy, Davao del Sur at the Upper Sinayawan Farmers IA (UPSFIA), Inc.; then made a trip to Sulop Municipality and left 50 sacks of rice; to the Municipality of Padada and finally, to Kapatagan, Digos City.  Traveling from one(1) parish to the other, RCIA XI and DSDCFIA had seen and observed the ruins and the damages caused by the earthquakes.  They requested the parishes to identify the affected households in the locality, repack the rice and undertake the actual distribution. 

          After the last lap of rice donation, the group conducted an evaluation meeting of this activity at Kapatagan, Digos City where the RCIA XI Board of Trustees expressed some realizations the need to embrace disaster preparedness.  Hence, they resolve to create an account of Calamity Fund in the budget of each IA to make funds available in the event that disasters come to happen in and out of the IA jurisdiction.