SPEAKER Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo urged the Bicameral Conference Committee to consider the P20 billion additional budget for the Department of Agriculture (DA when it starts deliberating on the proposed 2019 national budget.
According to Arroyo, augmenting the budget of the DA will address or further lower the inflation rate.
Arroyo wants to increase the P123.7-billion DA budget by P20 billion.
“The House had increased the budget of DA by P20 billion upon my instruction because I noticed that since my administration, the budget for DA had dropped significantly,” Arroyo said.
The Bicameral committee is expected to convene today to discuss and reconcile the proposed national budget for this year, amounting to P3.767 trillion.
One day before the Bicam meeting, Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. relinquished his post as Majority Leader to become the chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations and head the House contingent.
Arroyo said with the impending passage of the 2019 budget by the Senate, she has instructed the House members of the bicameral committee to make sure that the P20 billion remain in the final budget.
“We have to make sure the increase in the DA budget is retained in the final budget because it will enable the DA to implement measures that will help farmers and increase production needed to control inflation,” she stressed.
She had previously pointed out that there is a correlation between the budget allotted a department to the growth in the particular sector it manages.
“As we were analyzing the budget, we realized that from six percent of the budget in my time, agriculture went down afterwards to 1.5 percent. No wonder we have shortage of food,” the Speaker added.