Higher DA budget urged


James Konstantin Galvez

Manila Times
26 October 2010




Following the devastation brought by Super Typhoon Juan to the country’s agriculture sector, non-government organizations under the Alternative Budget Initiative of Social Watch Philippines called on lawmakers for an additional P17.7 billion to the budget of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to help protect farmers and their livelihoods from the impacts of climate change.


In a statement, Rice Watch and Action Network (R1) lead convenor Jessica Reyes-Cantos said that the bulk, or 63 percent of the P17.7 billion additional agriculture budget will go to the attached agencies of the Agriculture department—mainly the National Food Authority (NFA), Philippine Rice Research Institute (Philrice), and Quedan and Rural Credit Guarantee Corp.

“As our rice farmers in Northern and Central Luzon brace for Super Typhoon Juan and as we anticipate more incidences of extreme and unpredictable
weather conditions, the least that the government can do is to protect the farmers of their livelihood and reduce their families’ vulnerability to the damaging impacts of climate change,” Cantos said.

R1 also asked the senators deliberating on the budget to allocate P9 billion for the NFA to be able to buy the farmers’ palay [unhusked rice] and cornering 5 percent of the country’s national requirements, or at about 553,000 tons.

The group also asked the lawmakers to review the agriculture budget in the General Appropriations Act recently approved by the House of Representatives wherein the NFA did not get budget allocation.








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