Robredo vows to double agriculture budget to P116 billion if elected president
MANILA, Philippines — If elected as president next year, Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday vowed to double the national budget for the agriculture sector to at least P116 billion in her first year of office.
Robredo said that currently, only 1.7 percent of the national budget is allotted to the agriculture sector.
“So iyong commitment ko, iyong first budget na gagawin, gagawin na siya at least P116 billion,” Robredo said.
(My commitment is that in my first budget, I will allocate at least P116 billion.)
Increasing the budget alone, however, is not enough, said Robredo, pointing out that the distribution of these funds should also be reviewed.
According to Robredo, in 2021, the Department of Agriculture (DA) allocated P15.5 billion to the rice sector, P3 billion to the fisheries sector, and a measly P1 billion each for other banner programs of the department in the crop and livestock sector.
“Hindi lang iyong total budget pero pati rin iyong distribution noon. So kailangan tingnan natin hindi lang iyong buo pero tingnan din natin kung makatarungan ba iyong distribution ng buong budget,” Robredo said.
(It’s not just about the total budget but also its distribution. We have to look not just at the entire budget but also the equity of its distribution.)
“Kasi kapag sinabi nating makatarungan ba, nasaan ba iyong opportunities? Alin ba iyong most resilient na sub-sector ng agriculture? Kasi kung nasaan iyong opportunities, dapat bigyan natin ng mas maraming budget,” she added.
(If we say it is fair, where are the opportunities? Which is the most resilient sub-sector of agriculture? Because wherever the opportunities are, that’s where we should put a chunk of the budget.)
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