Congress is now preparing the national budget for 2021 and many congressmen, knowing that agriculture could be a major factor in the country’s economic recovery, are pushing for a bigger funding for the DA as well as for the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
Deputy Speaker and Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte, long with Quezon Rep. Wilfrido Mark Enverga, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, and Ang Magsasaka partylist Rep. Argel Cabatbat cited the need to finance the programs of both the DA and DAR to help the country recover from the impact of the pandemic.
“If there is one thing that the ongoing global health crisis has taught us, it is the primacy of self-sufficiency, as countries isolate themselves and shutter their businesses in a frantic bid to prevent the spread of a highly infectious pathogen that has sickened more than 27 million people and killed over 900,000 around the globe,” Villafuerte said.
Before the pandemic, Secretary Dar had merely sought a greater role for agriculture in the national economy. The world situation has now drastically changed, with many countries cutting down on trade and other relations with other countries for fear of new COVID-19 infestations along with great economic losses.
As Congressman Villafuerte pointed out, we may have to depend heavily on our own resources in the coming months and years, particularly in food for our people. Our leaders must ensure that our agricultural sector will be able to assume this role, starting with better funding in the national budget.
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