President Duterte is keen on increasing the budget of the Department of Agriculture (DA) tenfold to nearly P500 billion in 2020 to ensure the country’s food security. The president gave an emphasis on focusing more in improving agricultural infrastructures especially, the farm-to-market roads, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said on Tuesday.
During the Cabinet meeting, Duterte highlighted “the need for bigger support to agriculture” to meet the increasing demand for food of the country’s growing population. Thus, creating more farm-to-market roads will improve farm to market access that will ensure farmers’ produce to be sold at a fair price.
Moreover, the increase of budget is to enable Filipino farmers and fishermen that agriculture and fisheries will be given a bigger budget share to be able to produce more food for a rapidly growing population.
“Over the last two years, agriculture was given a measly share of the national budget with the DA getting less than 2 percent of the total budgetary pie,” Piñol said.
Further,stated by the president during the meeting, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III would be instructed to give the DA the budget it needs to boost the country’s food production.
Piñol noted that “the President’s announcement of greater budgetary support to agriculture came just in time as the DA starts its three-day Internal Budget Hearing today [Tuesday] at the Agricultural Training Institute [ATI] compound in Quezon City”.
“With the President’s major policy pronouncement last night, the DA will adjust its budgetary proposals with corresponding targets to be achieved,” he added.
Written by: Jasper Y. Arcalas