Senator Christopher “Bong” Go has committed his support for the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) banner programs for Filipino farmers and fisherfolk under the obtaining Covid-19 pandemic.
Go said he supports the DA budget which includes priority measures designed to ensure “a food secure and resilient Philippines with prosperous farmers and fisherfolks”
“I trust the DA to stay true to its vision and continue its efforts in providing reprieve to our less fortunate farmers and fisherfolks and ensure production, availability, accessibility and affordability, price stability, sustainability, and food safety,” he said.
The senator lauded DA’s swift response DA to address the adverse effects of the pandemic. “The Department provided financial subsidies to more than 530,000 rice farmers. They have released and continue to release zero-interest loans to marginalized small farmers, fisherfolks, and agri-based micro and small enterprises,” he noted.
“In addition, they have extended support services, education, training, and agricultural equipment and facilities to our poverty-stricken farmers and fisherfolks. The help they provided, in turn, safeguarded our nation’s food security which is vital for each and everyone’s sustenance,” he added.
Earlier, Go renewed his call for the DA to intensify its support for the agricultural sector in providing livelihood, food security, and in boosting economic activities in the countryside.
“We can swiftly revive our economy if we boost the agriculture sector in the provinces. We need to go back to basics especially now that we see the importance of agriculture in our country and our livelihood,” he added.
Go also urged the DA to provide agricultural training and strengthen programs promoting entrepreneurship in agriculture as many have lost their jobs to the pandemic.
Under the Bayanihan 2 program, the Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines are directed “to prioritize agri-fishery businesses, agriculture cooperatives, farmers, fisherfolk and other agricultural workers in the provision of low interest and flexible loans.”
During the recent budget deliberations, Go challenged DA Secretary William Dar to go after agricultural smugglers and help eradicate systemic corruption in government.