PRO-farmer lawmakers – senators and congressmen -- deserve the support of the Filipino people as they exert efforts to make more productive the countryside, where majority of the poor live.
These efforts are all aimed at improving the living conditions of the millions of fishermen and farmers whose cash and livelihood depend on the hitherto sunshine agriculture sector.
In the view of various quarters, including farm workers and their dependents, the country’s agriculture sector has stumbled into “a sorry spectacle.”
If many of our farmers and fishermen still wallow in extreme poverty, blame it on skyrocketing production costs, declining prices of agricultural products and erratic weather conditions, like “El Niño.”
Likewise, impoverished people continue to abandon the countryside, preferring to work in foreign lands or look for high-paying jobs in Metropolitan Manila and other highly-urbanized areas.
That’s why we doff our hat to Sen. Cynthia A. Villar for filing a bill which seeks to mandate local government units (LGUs) across the country to set aside funding for the development of agriculture.
Villar, chair of the Senate committee on agriculture, food, and agrarian reform, filed Senate Bill (SB) No. 1138, otherwise known as the “Local Government Agriculture Development Act.”
The proposed law seeks to institutionalize a 10 percent budgetary allocation from the Internal Revenue Allotment of LGUS for the implementation of programs, activities, and services for agriculture and fisheries.
“We need to strengthen local government participation in agriculture development by making sure programs for agriculture will be funded…whoever gets elected – advocate man ng agriculture ang mayor o hindi,” she said.
Like other well-meaning Filipinos, we look forward to seeing the countryside bloom again.