House bill creating agriculture info system passes final reading
MANILA, Philippines — House Bill No. 7942 — the proposed “Agriculture Information System Act” (AIS) — passed the third and final reading on Monday.
The bill — which passed with 280 yes votes and zero no votes — proposes creating an up-to-date database of agricultural and fisheries products in each town and city nationwide.
According to House Speaker Martin Romualdez, the bill, if passed, “could pave the way for the full development of the agriculture sector and the attainment of national food security through data-driven science and technology, planning and distribution of resources.”
Among the authors of the bill are Representatives Dante S. Garcia, Robert Raymund Estrella, Eddiebong G. Plaza, and Alfelito M. Bascug.
The bill mandates that the AIS will classify farmers, fish breeders, and fisherfolk under certain criteria and record crop harvest volumes and forecasts.
“All cities and municipalities shall encourage and facilitate the free registration of all farmers, fisherfolk, as well as buyers transacting within their respective areas in the Information System,” the bill says.
The data would also be integrated with the Department of Agriculture’s existing systems.
“Improving, developing and modernizing the farming and fisheries sector is important to us because this area of the economy is one of the country’s largest employers. Millions of our kababayan and their families depend on it. Farming and fishing are their sources of livelihood and income,” Romualdez said.