Press Release
December 8, 2018

Villar sponsors DA's proposed P122 billion budget

Sen. Cynthia Villar today sponsored in the Senate the proposed P122 billion proposed budget of the Department of Agriculture for 2019.

Villar, chair of the Committee on Agriculture and Food, said DA's budget is 3.34 percent of the proposed national budget amounting to PhP3.757 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, PhP36.34 billion is earmarked for Programs (PhP15.70 billion) and Projects (PhP14.97 billion).

The programs are as follows:

  • National Rice Program, PhP7.41 billion

  • National Livestock, PhP1.05 billion

  • National Corn, PhP1.53 billion

  • National High Value Crops, PhP1.48 billion

  • National Organic Agriculture, PhP545.86 million

  • Halal Food Industry Development, PhP44.63 million

  • Other Regular Programs, PhP3.63 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.

The Rice Fund will be allocated as follows:

  • 50% wil go to the Philippine Center for Post Harvest Development and Modernization to provide farmers with rice farm machineries and equipment;

  • 30% will be released to the Philippine Rice Research Institute to be used for the development, propagation and promotion of inbred rice seeds to rice farmers and the organization of rice farmers into seed growers associations engaged in seed production and trade;

  • 10% will be made available in the form of credit facility with minimal interest rates and with minimum collateral requirements to rice farmers and cooperatives to be managed by the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines; and

  • 10% will be set aside to fund extension services by PhilMech, Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority for teaching skills on rice crop production, modern rice farming techniques, seed production, farm mechanization, and knowledge/ technology transfer through farm schools nationwide.

Likewise, PhP10 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. The PhP10 billion is divided as follows:

  • PhP2 billion or 20 percent for infrastructure program,

  • PhP2 billion or 20% for planting, replanting and establishment of hybrid coconut nurseries,

  • PhP1.5 billion for 15% for shared facilities,

  • PhP1 billion or 10% for intercropping,

  • PhP1 billion or 10% for research & development (R&D), coconut disease prevention, control & eradication,

  • PhP1 billion or 10% for credit through LandBank & Development Bank of the Philippines,

  • PhP500 million or 5% for fertilization,

  • PhP500 million or 5% for new products & all derivatives of coconut oil and marketing, and finally

  • PhP500 million or 5% for training of farmers through TESDA.

"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.

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