Press Release
October 14, 2016

Villar pushes DA to preserve native animals

In the face of the growing consumption of meat among Filipinos, Sen. Cynthia Villar pushed for the preservation of native animals, which are cheaper to raise and more adaptable to the country's changing climate.

During the budget hearing on the proposed P50.5-budget of the Department of Agriculture, Sec. Emmanuel Piñol said Filipinos' consumption of meat rose from 15 kilos per capita to 35 kilos per capita, and the inventory of 2.5 million cattle is not enough to feed the 105 million population.

"We should turn to native animals to help us feed the growing population. We have seen problems raising imported cows; our climate is changing and these animals cannot adapt. Whereas iyong ating native animals kayang-kaya nila ang climate change dito sa Pilipinas. Siguro in our program, dapat i-emphasize din iyong native animals," Villar, who was presiding over the Finance Subcommittee E hearing, said.

"And besides, sa native animals hindi sila bibili ng feeds kasi they can live on grass that we can plant. In effect, para sa mahihirap nating farmer, this is more sustainable kasi wala silang puhunan para bumili ng feeds, magtatanim na lang sila ng grass. May mga grass na high-protein na pwedeng magpalaki ng native animals. Let's look at our native animals and let them grow in the Philippines," Villar added.

At the Senate, Villar filed Senate Bill No. 144 or the "Philippine Native Animal Development Act of 2016", which aims to promote the scientific propagation, processing, utilization and development of Philippine native animals. The bill recommends the creation of the Philippine Native Animal Development Center (PNADC).

The proposed PNADC in coordination with DA, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, native animal growers' cooperatives and organizations, LGUs and the private sector shall formulate a 20-year Framework for Development to be validated and updated annually.

The framework will serve as a guide in implementing programs, plans and projects. It will also provide for investment promotion and facilitation, production support and extension, R&D, market promotion and development, quality assurance, infrastructure development among others.

To bring the development of the industry closer to the stakeholders, the bill also seeks to create one native animal center in every region of the country that will be called Native Animal Regional Center. The active participation of farmers is also encouraged under the bill. Farmers' associations and cooperatives will serve as the focal point for government assistance in the propagation and dispersal of Philippine native animals and dissemination of technology on native animals.

For his part, Piñol expressed support to the proposal of the vice chair of the Committee on Agriculture and Food, saying the bill is part of DA's legislative agenda.

"In a more macro level, the development of the industry of native animals impacts on the food security of our fast-growing population. Gusto rin natin tangkilikin at i-promote pa ang native animal farming dahil sa ito ay sariling atin. Native animal-raising follows the tenets of sustainable farming and organic agriculture," Villar said.

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