SENATOR Cynthia Villar has sponsored in the Senate the proposed P122 billion proposed budget of the Department of Agriculture for 2019 in order to provide better programs for farmers, fishermen and other agricultural workers.
Villar, chair of the Committee on Agriculture and Food, said DA’s budget is 3.34 percent of the proposed national budget amounting to P3.757 trillion.
“We are hopeful, Mr. President, that the proposed 2019 budget of DA will realize our goal of lifting Filipino farmers and fisherfolks out of poverty. Particularly, rice and coconut farmers, who make up for seven million of the 12 million farmers in the country since under next year’s proposed budget, we have realigned PhP20 billion to provide for standby appropriations for the rice and coconut farmers,” Villar said in her sponsorship speech.
Of the total budget, P36.34 billion is earmarked for Programs (P15.70 billion) and Projects (P14.97 billion).
Among these programs are: National Rice Program, P7.41 billion; National Livestock, P1.05 billion; National Corn, P1.53 billion; National High Value Crops, P1.48 billion; National Organic Agriculture, P545.86 million; Halal Food Industry Development, P44.63 million; and other Regular Programs, P3.63 billion.
Villar also highlighted the P10-billion Rice Fund, the most significant component of the rice tariffication bill which will be spent to improve competitiveness and productivity of farmers.
Likewise, P10 billion has also been earmarked for the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Fund to increase the income of coconut farmers and to support the developmental activities of the Philippine Coconut Authority.
“We are confident, Mr. President, that with the efficient utilization of the 2019 budget and implementation of programs and projects of the department, we are on track in removing the barriers that keep Filipino farmers and fisherfolks from being more competitive and profitable,” Villar said.