SENATOR Cynthia Villar yesterday said the amendment she proposed to the 2020 budget of the National Food Authority (NFA) will mean more money for the program providing assistance to small farmers.
Villar, chair of the Committee on Agriculture and Food, proposed the transfer of P3 billion from NFA to the Land Bank of the Philippines to help farmers affected by the initial phase of the implementation of Republic Act 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law.
“It is a given that there are difficulties encountered by farmers when the law took effect that is why we are looking for ways how to extend more assistance to them through bigger budget,” Villar said.
Tha Nacionalista Party senator also allayed fears that the transferred funds will affect the palay procurement program of the agency.
“NFA will continue to buy palay from our farmers. Dapat nilang gawin ito para ang mga magsasaka, hindi na sila lalapit sa mga mapagsamantalang traders na babaratin lang ang palay nila,” Villar explained.
Under Villar’s proposed amendment, P3 billion will be transferred from NFA to the Landbank of the Philippines for year 2020 to assist the farmers as they adjust to the implementation of the rice tariffication law.
“This fund will go to 600,000 farmers tilling farms of one hectare or less kaya sigurado tayo na ang assistance mapupunta talaga sakanila. Wala nang excuse para hindi makarating ang tulong ng gobyerno sa kanila,” Villar pointed out.