THE Department of Agriculture (DA) proposed a P284.4-billion budget for 2021 to “sustain, reboot and grow” the agriculture and fisheries sector and make it more resilient as the economy recovers.
The proposed budget is 255.95% higher than the department’s actual budget in 2020.
The Department of Budget and Management had provided a tier-1 budget of P61.7 billion to the DA. The DA appealed for an additional P222.6 billion in tier-2 funding to “dramatically raise agricultural productivity and incomes.”
“We hope that the additional budget that we are requesting for rice better bring us to almost 95% sufficiency level,” Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said Wednesday during the budget hearing with the House Committee on Agriculture and Food.
Mr. Dar said the agri-fishery sector has been the economy’s “sleeping giant” because of neglect and low funding levels, resulting in its “anemic performance.”
The proposed budget envisions “a food-secure and resilient Philippines with prosperous farmers and fisherfolk.”
The budget proposal allocates 37.25% for Luzon, 9.85% for Visayas, and 21.53% for Mindanao. Some 5.99% will fund the bureaus while 25.38% will be allocated to the Office of the Secretary.
The proposal breaks down into 53.89% for capital outlays, 2.61% for personnel services, and 43.50% for Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses. — Patricia S. Gajitos