Farmers to Congress: Discuss ₱15,000 production subsidy bill

As Congress resumes its session today, farmers are sincerely asking the House of Representatives leadership to schedule public hearings and discuss legislation related to the ₱15,000 production subsidy demand of farmers and fisherfolks.

Already filed in Congress since June 2022 is House Bill 406 that seeks to provide ₱15,000 production subsidy for farmers and fishers affected by increasing cost of farm inputs, rising fuel prices, economic downturn and calamities amid the pandemic.The proposed measure has been referred to the Committe on Agriculture and Food.

“We have been demanding for ₱15,000 production subsidy since 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have forwarded our demand and proposals to the Senate and Congress. It is included in the doable demands that we presented to the Marcos administration. We have also raised this clamor to the Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, and recently, to the National Irrigation Administration. We urge and challenge Malacanang to certify as urgent House Bill 406 or the granting of ₱15,000 production subsidy to farmers and fisherfolks.”

“With the looming El Nino, our food producers need significant aid and subsidies. There are more than enough fund sources for the ₱15,000 production subsidy if only Congress would rechannel lump sum budget items and unprogrammed funds that are vulnerable to corruption to budget for aid and social services,” according to farmer-leader Danilo Ramos.

Even with fertilizer prices slowly going down in the past months, farmers are still reeling from high cost of production and high cost of living. “Mataas ang gastos sa produksyon. Napakataas din ng presyo ng mga bilihin at patuloy ang inflation. Kahit mga magsasaka, hirap na sa pagbili ng pagkain,” Ramos added.

KMP said they will persistently forward farmers’ concerns and demand for production subsidies during the 2024 national budget deliberations that will start in July. ###

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