MAASIN CITY (PIA) -- The Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) in Southern Leyte has been closely coordinating with the 17 local government units (LGUs) in the province in efforts at trying to revive abaca plants whipped by Typhoon Odette’s fury.

Belinda Sabalo Lagrama, PhilFIDA provincial head, told PIA in an interview that the Odette Abaca Rehabilitation program presently pushed by their office can benefit 5,006 individual farmer-beneficiaries.

Each farmer will receive 50 abaca seedlings, while there are 3,764 among them who stand to get a bolo and a digging bar, and another 2,438 will have urea and complete fertilizer, at one bag each.

Lagrama clarified that the listing process, on who will be prioritized, will be the work of the LGU, adding that by July 31 she expects to get the final list from the LGUs.

The 17 LGUs covered by PhilFIDA’s Odette Abaca Rehabilitation are Anahawan, Bontoc, Hiunangan, Hinundayan, Libagon, Liloan, Maasin, Malitbog, Padre Burgos, :Pintuyan, Saint Bernard, San Francisco, San Juan, San Ricardo, Silago, Sogod, and Tomas Opps.

Lagrama disclosed the amount of P20 million fund from the Department of Agriculture for the abaca rehabilitation project.

Meanwhile, at the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict meeting Wednesday, July 20, at the SP Building, Lagrama said abaca farmers in the four (4) target barangays will be given priority.

These are the interior and upland barangays of Hilaan, Hitawos, Pamigsian, and Olisihan, all in the municipality of Bontoc. (LDL//MMP.PIA Southern Leyte)