Lacson hits low gov’t funding for R&D programs
MANILA, Philippines — The government needs to do better with its research and development (R&D) programs in order to harness the country’s agriculture potential, help farmers deal with pests and other adversities, and improve food production, presidential aspirant Sen. Panfilo Lacson said on Saturday.
Lacson lamented the low funding that the national government has been giving to research and development, with only about 0.4 percent of the annual budget commonly allotted for that purpose.
“I used to mock our government’s research and development, the main weapon of which is Google. So instead of doing research or helping [employees] do R&D, the [assigned personnel] would just search on Google and do [online] shopping,” he said.
Lacson said that if elected president, he intends to intensify the government’s R&D programs to boost banana production in Mindanao.
“The banana plantations are commonly hit by diseases, caused by pests. So this brings us back to the issue on the budget — mainly on R&D because what our farmers need here, particularly, is the laboratory to address the diseases that afflict their crops,” he said.
Lacson said he has long been questioning the low allocation given by the executive department to R&D.
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