DA Undersecretary for Operations Engr. Ariel Cayanan (in blue checkered polo) answers question relative to the DA’s plan and budget proposal during the meeting of the NAF Council Special Budget Committee.

Relative to the budget preparations for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, members of the National Agriculture and Fisheries Council (NAF Council) converged for the endorsement of the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) plan and budget proposal on June 17, 2019 at DA Conference Room in Quezon City.

The NAF Council, chaired by the DA Secretary, serves as the highest mechanism for consultation and dialogue between DA and the different national government agencies, local government units, civil society organizations, and private sector stakeholders including farmers’ and fishers’ groups.  

Undersecretary (USEC) for Operations Engr. Ariel Cayanan and USEC for Administration Roldan Gorgonio presided the NAF Council meeting which tabled for discussion the 2020 proposed budget of Php333.2 billion (B).

The advisory special bodies of the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF), represented by the Chairpersons of the National Sectoral and Strategic Concerns Committees and the Regional Agricultural and Fishery Councils, took part in the deliberation of DA’s FY 2020 physical and financial target/allocations.

Prior to the endorsement of the proposed DA’s plan and budget, PCAF, as the secretariat of the NAF Council, conducted consultation with the industry stakeholders through the NAF Council Special Budget Committee.

DA’s commitment for 2020

For FY 2020, the department’s budget is geared towards greater food production and poverty reduction which was in line with the President’s pronouncement to prioritize the agriculture sector through the provision of sufficient budget next year.

DA’s Budget Division Chief Telma Tolentino presented the proposed budget for FY 2020 which is 420% higher than the current year’s allocation. Tier 1 proposal amounted to Php58.1 B while Php275 B for Tier 2 proposal.

To achieve its goals, DA’s proposed budget for major sectors are as follows: Rice – Php113.528 B; Corn – Php31.229 B; Livestock and Poultry – Php9.4 B; High Value Crops – Php10.209 B; Fisheries – Php27.430 B and Organic Agriculture – Php1.148 B.

For the high impact programs of the department, Php2.5 B will be allocated for easy access credit, Php5.1 B for crop insurance, Php73.169 B for farm-to-market roads (FMR) and Php8.205 B for small-scale irrigation system (SPIS).

Local and foreign assisted projects were also funded under the proposed budget. These include the Special Area for Agricultural Development, Php1.555 B and the Philippine Rural Development Project, Php2.138 B (original), Php3.174 B (expansion).

New programs and projects are also introduced under the Tier 2 proposal. Among those are the National Farmers and Fisherfolk ID System, Php865.561 million (M); Mainstreaming in Climate Resilient in Agriculture, Php160 M; Pantawid Saka Program, Php24.052 B; Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran ng Kababayang Katutubo (4Ks), Php532.1 M and the Samar Island Agri-Aqua Development Project, Php323.9 M.

Other support programs, such as Quick Response Fund is Php2 B, Information and Communication Technology Management Support worth Php1.735 B and Halal Food Industry Development Program is Php124.3 M.

Php1.873 B will also be allocated for the Support to Integrated Laboratories, Php2.727 B for Field Program Management Activities and Php924.3 M for Market Development Program.

The proposed Php10 B amount for the implementation of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Program, which is a component of Republic Act No. 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law is also included in the total budget.

From the said amount, Php5 B will be used for the rice farm mechanization and equipment, Php3 B for the rice seed development, propagation and promotion and the remaining Php2 B will be divided for the expanded rice credit assistance and for the rice extension services.

DA’s midterm accomplishment

Assistant Secretary-designate for Planning and Project Development Carlos Magnaye presented the three-year accomplishment of DA, highlighting its major programs and interventions provided from 2016 to 2019.

It was reported that the agri-fishery gross value added (GVA) grew by 4.0% in 2017, highest growth rate recorded in a decade. Meanwhile, 0.8% growth in value of production was recorded in 2018 despite massive agricultural damages brought by natural phenomena.

ASEC Magnaye also shared substantial data on poverty reduction among the 10 provinces included in the DA’s Special Area for Agricultural Development and Easy Access Credit Program.

Quantitative data of the five major programs and interventions were also discussed. These include FMRs, SPIS, Production and Post-Harvest Facilities, Logistics and Transport, and Credit and Insurance. | JD