SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
05 October 2020 11:16:36 PM
The House of Representatives ended Monday night plenary deliberations on the Department of Agriculture’s P86.3-billion proposed budget for 2021 which was sponsored by Committee on Appropriations Vice-Chairman Rep. Teodorico Haresco Jr. (2nd District, Aklan). During interpellation, lawmakers delved into issues that the agriculture sector needs to address to achieve national food security especially during the health crisis. These issues include support for local products, government subsidies to farmers and fisherfolks, competition with importers, and farm-to -market roads. Rep. Argel Joseph Cabatbat (Party-list, MAGSASAKA) also brought attention to traders who purposely exploit agricultural cooperatives in importing rice for tax avoidance. “I don’t think that it is morally right to use our farmers for [the traders’] business interests, especially if that business is precisely designed to kill the livelihood of our farmers,” Cabatbat said. Haresco assured lawmakers that the DA, under the leadership of Secretary William Dar, would investigate the concerns that arose during the discussion, and would further strengthen the agriculture sector’s COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts through its new socio-economic response paradigms.