Press Release
May 22, 2018

Villar measures support agricultural innovation

To spur the growth of the country's agriculture, Senator Cynthia A. Villar said that as a legislator, she has a "conscious effort" to ensure her proposed bills in the Senate have a provision or component to support training, education, mechanization, research and development of this sector.

Villar said one of these bill include the enactment into law of Republic Act (RA) 10848 or the act extending the period of implementation of the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund or ACEF.

ACEF can provide a level field in access to not only education and training, but in opportunities to modernize and mechanize existing facilities or operations.

Under the ACEF Law, 80 percent of the fund would be set aside as a loan to micro and small entrepreneurs with minimal interest to make them more competitive--PhP5 million maximum for cooperatives and associations, and Php1 million for individuals.

The purpose of the loan is for the acquisition and establishment of agri-based production and post-production machineries, equipment and facilities to achieve modern agricultural practices, including mechanized operation.

Last month, Villar said she also filed a Senate resolution "to ensure the sound implementation of the ACEF by the different government agencies to promote the competitiveness of our farmers and fisherfolks in the advent of ASEAN integration."

"It has come to our attention that two years after we have passed the ACEF Law, the program is still frozen, unused and unavailed by the sector that needs to be assisted to become globally competitive... So, we conducted a Senate inquiry to find out why," said Villar.

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