MANILA, Philippines ( — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has distributed over Php1.37 billion in cash assistance to farmers, fisherfolk, and their families affected by the El Niño phenomenon in Cagayan Valley, the Visayas, and Mindanao. This initiative follows the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

The cash aid was provided to beneficiaries from 17 towns in Cagayan Valley and various regions in the Visayas and Mindanao. The assistance aims to mitigate the adverse effects of El Niño on the agriculture and fisheries sectors, which have been severely impacted by prolonged dry spells and reduced water supply.

“This aid distribution is part of President Marcos’ Presidential Assistance to Farmers, Fisherfolk, and their Families (PAFFF) program, which seeks to address the impacts of the El Niño phenomenon, particularly on the agriculture and fisheries sectors,” said DSWD Assistant Secretary for Disaster Response Management Group (DRMG) Irene Dumlao on Tuesday.

The PAFFF program is designed to provide immediate relief and support to those most affected by climate-related challenges. The cash assistance is expected to help farmers and fisherfolk sustain their livelihoods and support their families during this difficult period.

In addition to cash aid, the DSWD is also coordinating with local government units and other agencies to implement long-term solutions aimed at enhancing the resilience of the agriculture and fisheries sectors against future climate events. These measures include the provision of drought-resistant crop varieties, improved irrigation systems, and capacity-building programs for farmers and fisherfolk.

DSWD said it continues to monitor the situation and is prepared to extend further assistance as needed to ensure the well-being of affected communities.