Vil­lar blocks DAR bud­get

Tempo - - News - (Vanne Ter­ra­zola)

Sen­a­tor Cyn­thia Vil­lar blocked on Fri­day the ap­proval of the ₱10.3bil­lion pro­posed bud­get of the Depart­ment of Agrar­ian Re­form (DAR) for next year as she ques­tioned the agency’s move to al­lot only a small por­tion of the al­lo­ca­tion to pro­vid­ing farm equip­ment for farm­ers.

Vil­lar, chair of the Senate com­mit­tee on agri­cul­ture and food, pushed that the DAR al­lot more for the pro­vi­sion of farm ma­chine and equip­ment. “The bar­ri­ers ng farm­ers towards sta­bil­ity and com­pet­i­tive­ness is mech­a­niza­tion so we have to mech­a­nize both in the as­pect of pro­duc­ing the prod­uct and in pro­cess­ing,” she said.

Dur­ing the de­lib­er­a­tion of the Senate fi­nance sub­com­mit­tee on its 2018 pro­posed bud­get, a dis­mayed Vil­lar grilled DAR of­fi­cials af­ter learn­ing that they will spend a chunk of the ₱10.3 bil­lion for train­ing farm­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to the sen­a­tor, the DAR will only al­lot some 20 per­cent of the al­lo­ca­tion for pur­chas­ing farm equip­ment.

“Mech­a­niza­tion should be very im­por­tant... Hindi ang mga train­ing lang...Kung hindi niyo bibi­gyan ng equip­ment paano mag­memech­a­nize?” she asked. “For ex­am­ple 300 mil­lion, 50 mil­lion ang equip­ment tapos 250 mil­lion ‘yun ang train­ing that’s not nor­mal.”

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