Sen. Bong Go stresses need to support for farmers, fisherfolk; backs DA chief’s appointment
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Tuesday emphasized the critical need to focus on government support for less privileged farmers, as he expressed his own support for the ad interim appointment of Francisco Tiu Laurel, Jr., as Agriculture Secretary.
Go placed a strong emphasis on the welfare of small-scale farmers, urging the new secretary to prioritize their needs.
“Mr. Secretary, ang pakiusap ko lang po sa inyo, unahin natin ‘yung mga mahihirap nating kababayan. ‘Yung interes po ng bayan, interes po ng ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda,” he said.
“Our government should focus on supporting our small-scale farmers because they are the backbone of our food security. We must help and support our local farmers to earn a living and contribute towards food security,” he added.
Go underscored the hardships faced by local farmers and fishermen, noting their day-to-day struggles to provide for the nation’s food requirements.
He stressed the importance of making them the primary beneficiaries of the agricultural sector’s profits and success.
“Dapat po’y masaya ang ating mga farmers. Dapat po sila ang kumita. Ito po ‘yung mga isang kahig, isang tuka na mga kababayan,” said Go.
“Tulungan po natin, sikapin nating bigyan ng karampatang suporta at proteksyon ang ating mga maliliit na magsasaka at mangingisda na kumakayod po araw-araw para masigurong may pagkain sa hapag-kainan ng bawat pamilyang Pilipino,” he added.
Go also cited the necessity of strengthening the agricultural sector by implementing programs tailored to the development of small-scale farmers and fishermen.
“Mr. Secretary, suportahan natin sila sa pamamagitan ng pagpapalakas ng kanilang sektor at pagpapalaganap ng mga programa na tutugon sa kanilang mga pangangailangan,” he said.
This focus aligns with the broader goals of enhancing food security and supporting the livelihoods of those at the grassroots level of the agricultural industry.
In his concluding remarks, Go reiterated his support for Laurel, expressing confidence in Laurel’s ability to lead DA effectively.
“With that, I would like to reiterate my full support for the confirmation of Francisco Tiu Laurel, Jr., as Secretary of the Department of Agriculture. Maraming salamat at mabuhay po kayo!” concluded Go.
Go, a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, has continuously advocated for strengthening agricultural support systems, acknowledging the contribution of farmers in maintaining food security.
Go was one of the authors of Republic Act 11901, or the Agriculture, Fisheries, and Rural Development Financing Enhancement Act of 2022, which enhanced the financial structure supporting agriculture, fisheries, and rural development.
This law is designed to offer improved access to credit for rural communities, particularly benefiting farmers, fisherfolk, and agri-based workers.
The goal is to elevate their well-being, competitiveness, and productivity.
Moreover, Go served as a co-sponsor and co-author in the Senate of RA 11953, also known as the New Agrarian Emancipation Act.
This legislation condones loans accrued by agrarian reform beneficiaries, encompassing the related interests, penalties, and surcharges.
Additionally, the senator filed Senate Bill No. (SBN) 2117, a measure aimed at ensuring thorough crop insurance protection for agrarian reform beneficiaries.
To complement the said bill, Go introduced SBN 2118 to improve insurance coverage and services for farmers and address the agricultural sector’s susceptibility to the consequences of natural disasters if enacted into law.