Government Proposes 2013 Agriculture/Fisheries Budget23 August 2012
PHILIPPINES - To sustain the momentum of frontloading investments in agri-fishery infrastructure and attain sufficiency in rice and other major staples by the end of 2013, the Department of Agriculture is proposing a P74.1-billion budget for the coming year.
Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said the suggested funding will bankroll the Aquino government’s Food Staples Sufficiency Programme (FSSP) particularly to attain 100 percent rice sufficiency. Under FSSP, the government plans to produce in 2013 20 million metric tons (MMT) of palay and 8.75 MMT of corn.
The DA chief presented and defended the agency’s proposed budget August 22, 2012, during the House of Representatives’ Committee on Appropriations hearing chaired by Rep. Joseph Emilio Abaya of the 1st District of Cavite and co-chaired by Rep. Nur Jaafar of the lone district of Tawi-tawi.
According to Alcala, the bulk of the budget, which is 21 per cent more than this year’s allocation of P64.1 B, will be spent on major final outputs (MFO), including irrigation (P28.75B) postharvest and other infrastructure (P12.38B), production support (P6.87B) and extension support (P3.04B).
Other MFOs and their respective proposed budgets are: regulatory (P2.52B), plans and policies (P2.26B), credit facilitation (P2.01B), research and development (P1.45B), and market development (P1.28B).
Mr Alcala also presented the proposed 2013 budget for commodity banner programmes, regional field units, bureaus, attached agencies, and subsidy for attached corporations.
Of the P74-B budget, the DA proposes a total allocation of P15.02B for its five banner programmes: rice (P7.45B), fisheries (P3.66B), corn (P1.52B), high value crops ((P1.36B), and livestock (P1.03B).
The respective proposed budget for 15 DA-RFUs, including ARMM, totals P43.32B; for the DA’s eight bureaus, P8.19B; nine attached agencies, P3.45B; and subsidy for seven attached corporations, P9.92B.
Mr Alcala said alongside an increased budget in 2013, the DA seeks the approval of the agency’s rationalisation plan to augment its personnel which has dwindled through the years mostly due to retirement. To date, the DA has a total authorised positions of 26,952, of which 22 per cent or 6,019 positions remain unfilled or vacant.
The DA also seeks the support of both Houses of Congress to enact priority legislations to sustain the modernisation and global competitiveness of the country’s agriculture and fishery sector. These include the National Land Use Act, food safety act, sugarcane industry development act, and strengthening and refining the functions of the National Food Authority.