HOUSE Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano yesterday said there will be more funds to buy unmilled rice (palay) as support to local farmers who are now reeling from the impact of rice importation.
Cayetano made the statement before the start of the deliberation on the proposed national budget for 2020 amounting to P4.1 trillion.
According to Cayetano, he will push for the increase of allocation for the rice program from P7 billion to at least P9 billion.
To date there is a tremendous drop in the prices of palay in some provinces because of the entry of cheaper imported rice allowed under the Rice Tariffication Law.
“Kulang na kulang ang P7 billion, if we want to solve the crisis sa presyo ng palay,” the Speaker said.
Likewise, Cayetano wants more development of police and military camps nationwide, as he is pushing for at least P500 million budget each for the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
“So in the same manner that we have a school building program, we want to put a camp development fund,” he said.
Yesterday, the House started its plenary debate on the proposed 2020 national budget.
Included in the 2020 budget are the critical programs namely Universal Healthcare (166.5 billion); National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC) (92.2 billion); Department of Health Human Resources for Health Deployment (P7 billion); Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (108.8 billion); Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (P70.6 billion); Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (P10 billion) Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (P641.6 million) and National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (P622.3 million).
The top ten departments that will be getting a lion’s share are the Department of Education (DepEd), P673 billion; Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), P534.3 billion; Department of Interior and Local Govt. (DILG), P238 billion; Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), P195 billion; Department of National Defense (DND), P189 billion; Department of Health (DoH), P166.5 billion.