Guam – Forty-one farmers are still waiting for compensation for crops that were damaged back in October, however Department of Agriculture director Mariquita Taitague says that they should be receiving it soon after it gets final approval from the governor’s office.
A total of seventy-four farmers have applied for compensation from the Government of Guam after they lost crops during the heavy rains of october. Out of that thirty-three have received at least partial payments for their claims while forty-one claims are awaiting final approval from the governor’s office.
Department of Agriculture director Mariquita Taitague explains.”There were about 33 and we paid out about 135 thousand for that first batch and all together we have received a request of about 74 farmers and the first batch we didn’t pay them for the whole thing that was coming to them because there was an urgency so they really didn’t bring their receipts they brought only a few,”
Taitague says that the law that funds the farmer compensation also requires that the farmers provide receipts proving their losses. She says the first batch of farmers didn’t bring in all of their receipts but they needed to expidite their payments so they gave them partial payments. She says this first batch of thirty-three farmers who received partial payments will also be eligible to receive more compensation after they bring in the rest of their receipts. They have until January the 11th to provide the rest of their receipts.
Taitague says that they will be paying about $400 thousand more in farmers compensation. “By tomorrow we’ll be able to disseminate information to the farmers about when their check will be made. I have to go down to get the approval of BBMR the approval of the front office the fiscal policy people Frank Arriola the deputy chief of staff I need to get their approval of what our findings are of what to pay how much to pay each farmer,” said the DOAG director.
Taitague says that the law allows them to pay for money spent based on receipts and a little bit of labor but only for the farmer his or herself and not for any laborers. The compensation will cover costs for things like fuel, seed, water, and fertilizer. Taitague says that she knows that the farmers are getting anxious to get their payments and she understands how they feel as she herself was a farmer for twenty years. “I’m trying my best to help the farmers out because I was once a farmer too and I know how it is too when there’s a storm like this you’re just down to zero,” said Taitague.
Governor’s spokesman Phil Leon Guerrero tells PNC that BBMR is reviewing the calculations that determine how much to pay farmers who have filed claims. Once BBMR and the administration approves the calculation and the claims they can begin processing checks.