The Department of Agriculture (DA) is looking at around a P8-10 billion increase in the agency’s P91-billion 2022 budget, according to DA Assistant Secretary Noel Reyes.
Reyes said during a radio interview that Thailand and Vietnam were more flourishing in farming, when it was the Philippines that taught them.
“‘Yun nga ang nakakalungkot kasi ang laki na kasi ng budget na binibigay nila sa agrikultura. So sa atin, napakaliit. ‘Yun po ang naging presentation ni Secretary William Dar sa Congress ngayon ay sana madagdagan,” Reyes said.
The agriculture department originally proposed P231 billion in the 2022 budget, but it was decreased to P91 billion.
Reyes explained that they need to finance the agency’s expenses, which is why they were seeking for a 5% increase.
“The agriculture sector has been contributing at an average of about 10% to the gross value product of the country, and yet ang budget niya ay nasa 1.5-1.8% of the national budget. So sana, i-angat man lang hanggang 5%,” he said.
Reyes also highlighted that Filipinos have already seen the importance of food security amid the rise of “plantitos and plantitas” in the urban setting.
“Ngayong pandemic, nakita ng lahat ang kahalagahan ng food security,” he said. “Namulat ang ating mata na talagang kailangan nating mag-invest sa agriculture. Karamihan nga po ng presidentiables ngayon eh at senatoriables ay puro agriculture, sana naman ay ma-translate into additional budget.” Ronald Espartinez