Recto calls for funds to rehabilitate typhoon-hit farms under 2021 budget | Inquirer News
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Recto calls for funds to rehabilitate typhoon-hit farms under 2021 budget

/ 09:48 PM November 16, 2020
Recto calls for funds to rehabilitate typhoon-hit farms under 2021 budget

Residents wade in a flooded bridge over a swollen river due to heavy rains in Ilagan town, Isabela province north of Manila on October 31, 2020, ahead of Typhoon Goni’s landfall in the Philippines. (Photo by Villamor Visaya / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto on Monday sought funding under the 2021 national budget for the rehabilitation of farms damaged by recent typhoons.

Urgently rehabilitating farmlands hit by the typhoons “is a must if we want to eat tomorrow,” Recto said in a statement.

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“Helping the farmers in these areas helps us more than it helps them. COVID kills by hunger. We should not allow typhoons to make a pandemic more brutal,” he said.

“The rehabilitation of farms damaged by the typhoons should be expressed explicitly in the 2021 budget. It is like buying a vaccine against hunger, which is more lethal than the virus. Farmers fed us during this pandemic. It is time to return the favor,” he added.

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The Department of Agriculture earlier reported that a total of P10 billion in agriculture was lost as Typhoons Quinta, Rolly and Ulysses battered the country.

‘Agricultural powerhouse’

“Ulysses hit the country’s food basket – the fertile plains of Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon. Suntok sa sikmura. A powerful blow to the gut. Tinaob ng bagyo ang isang malaking kaldero ng bayan,” Recto continued.

Six provinces, namely Isabela, Cagayan, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, account for 38 percent of the country’s palay harvest, 37 percent of chicken production, and almost one-fifth of swine output, he noted.

The regions are also major poultry and livestock producers, Recto added.

“They combine into one contiguous agricultural powerhouse, a major contributor to the only sector which by posting growth over the past three quarters has proved itself to be pandemic-proof,” the senator also said.

The senator stressed the proposed national budget “can’t ignore disasters.”

“It cannot be immune to changes required to fix the destruction disasters have wrought,” he added.

“In a country that sits atop the earthquake corridor and is the doormat to the typhoon alley, it is but inevitable that disasters become macroeconomic assumptions of the national budget,” he further said.

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TAGS: 2021 budget, farms, Nation, News, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, typhoon Quinta, Typhoon Rolly, Typhoon Ulysses
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