Solon: 1.4% increase in DA budget ‘barest minimum, not sufficient’
MANILA, Philippines — While the proposed budget of the Department of Agriculture (DA) for 2022 increased by 1.4 percent compared to the current year, this is only the “barest minimum” and is “not sufficient,” a lawmaker said Monday.
Northern Samar 1st District Rep. Paul Daza, who was sponsoring the budget of the DA, said that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) only recommended P91 billion for the agency’s budget for next year.
While this is 1.4 percent higher than the agency’s 2021 budget, this is way lower than the DA’s initial proposal to DBM which was P231.7 billion.
“That would be the barest minimum. This increase is really not sufficient and this sponsor believes that we should explore the possibilities of further augmentation of the budget,” Daza said when asked if the 1.4 percent increase in the DA’s budget is sufficient.
Camarines Sur 3rd District Rep. Gabriel Bordado underscored that as a contributor in the country’s economy and sustainability, the budget for the DA should be increased.
“We should increase the budget of the DA. I do believe that there is a need to realign certain entries in the NEP (National Expenditure Program) so that the budget of the DA will be increased,” Bordado said.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar earlier said that he “would be happier if the budget is increased.”
Dar said the budget can still be increased by at least P30 billion.
“Kung mamarapatin ng Kongreso, nasa level na P30 billion minimum sana na maidagdag (If the Congress can allow, we hope to have an increase of at least P30 billion),” Dar said.
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