DA seeks P74.1-B budget for 2013

THE  Department of Agriculture is seeking a P74.1 billion budget for the coming year in a bid to sustain the momentum of front loading investments in agri-fishery infrastructure and attain sufficiency in rice and other major staples by the end of 2013 .

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said the funds will bankroll the Aquino government’s Food Staples Sufficiency Program (FSSP) particularly to attain 100 percent rice sufficiency. Under FSSP, the government plans to produce 20 million metric tons (MMT) of palay and 8.75 MMT of corn.

The proposed budget was presented 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.

Of the P74-B proposed budget, the DA will allocate P15.02B for its five banner programs: rice (P74.5B), fisheries (P3.66B), corn (P1.52B), high value crops ((P1.36B), and livestock (P1.03B).

This year, Alcala said 21% of the 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).

Alcala also presented the proposed 2013 budget for commodity banner programs, regional field units, bureaus, attached agencies, and subsidy for attached corporations.

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.

Alcala said alongside an increased budget in 2013, the DA seeks the approval of the agency’s rationalization plan to augment its personnel which has dwindled through the years mostly due to retirement.

The DA also seeks the support of both houses of Congress to enact priority legislations to sustain the modernization and global competitiveness of the country’s agriculture and fishery sector which include the National Land Use Act, and strengthening and refining the functions of the National Food Authority.


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