Senate approves P86 billion DA budget

28-Nov-2020 Intellasia | PhilStar | 6:02 AM Print This Post

The Senate has approved the proposed P85.58 billion budget of the Department of Agriculture for 2021 as the sector is seen as key to the recovery of the country’s economy.

The 2021 budget is seven percent higher than this year’s P79.9 billion allocation.

Sen. Cynthia Villar, chair of the Senate committee on agriculture and food, said there is a need to support the sector and promote rural development to ensure nutritious and affordable food for the people.

“The agri-fishery sector was the only economic sub-sector that posted positive growth, as the country plunged into recession amid the pandemic, and prior to the onslaught of the successive typhoons that hit Luzon in October and November,” Villar said.

Villar said the DA must focus on addressing high poverty in rural areas which is compounded by the challenges of climate change, as well as lack of technology and mechanisation.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the Senate’s budget support would sustain the implementation the flagship Plant Plant Plant programme and continued modernisation and industrialisation of the sector.

Bulk of the budget of P60.9 billion has been allocated for seven commodity banner programmes, as well as locally-funded and foreign-assisted projects.

These are rice (P15.5 billion), fisheries (P3.12 billion), high value crops (P1.6 billion), corn (P1.5 billion), livestock (P1.17 billion), organic agriculture (P665 million) and halal (P23.9 million).

The proposed DA budget will undergo final scrutiny as part of the 2021 general Appropriations Act for the second, third and final reading at the Senate.

After the Senate’s formal approval of the budget, select members of both legislative houses will convene as a bicameral conference committee to reconcile differing or conflictingprovisions. billion-da-budget


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