The Department of Agriculture (DA) is offering a P25,000 cash loan to fishermen affected by the explosion of Taal Volcano in Taal, Batangas.

But instead of praise, this measure of the DA has gained so much scorn and negative reactions from residents and netizens in social media. People are lambasting the DA why instead of helping the poor fishermen of Batangas, Laguna and Cavite the government is only offering loans.

The netizens are also wondering why the government doesn’t the money to help but has the funds to lend to fisher folks that only rely on fishing around Taal Lake for their livelihood.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar says the P25,000 cash loan is payable in three years and if the fishermen want to borrow a bigger amount they can do so under the Micro and Small Agribusiness Loan Program.

But how can these fishermen pay such loans?

Affected families were being evacuated, their ivestock and crops given up due to the calamity. The fishermen and their families are not in better condition either.

What the fishermen and farmers are seeking is the provision of financial subsidy and the initiative of the government to establish a livelihood projects that can help them in earn profit

One of the farmers, Joselito Damian could no longer hold his sentiments as he lamented the government’s seeming apathy towards those affected by Mt. Taal’s outbursts.

“Kami na nga ang nasalanta, nawalan ng kabuhayan tapos pauutangin lang ng gobyerno? Tulong ang kailangan namin hindi pautang! San naman kami kukuha pambayad? Walang walan na kami,” he cried out loud.
(We already lost everything, our livelihood. We need help not loans. How can we pay? We have nothing!)

Damian adds that it is the responsibility of the government to take care of its people especially during times of a calamity.

“Anong klaseng tulong yan? Hindi ba pananamantala ng kahinaan at pagiging desperado ng mga tao yan ginagawa nila? Anong klaseng gobyernk meron tayo?, Damian adds. (What kind of help is that? They are taking advantage of the weakness and desperation of the people. What kind of government that we have right now?

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