CITY OF MALOLOS – The increase in the net income from agricultural products could improve the Filipino farmers’ welfare that will result to continuous progress and development of the country’s agricultural sector.
This was the message of Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan during the culminating ceremony of the 15th National Vegetable Congress with the theme, “Moving Together towards the Attainment of Affordable and Available Food for Every Filipino” held at the Bulacan Capitol Gymnasium in this city, Friday morning.
Pangilinan, who is the Chairman of the Agriculture Committee in the senate, said that agriculture is the backbone of the Philippine economy and almost 67 percent of the population of the country is directly or indirectly involved in farming and fishing.
He also said that his proposed Sagip Saka or Farmers and Fishers Entrepreneurship and Development Act, which is geared toward increasing the incomes of farmers and fisher folks, will secure the welfare of every farmer through enterprise management and development, with the cooperation of the local government.
“Dapat lumayo na tayo sa isang kahig, isang tuka na pamumuhay at mapunta na sa farm enterprise management and development. Dito ang mga magsasaka ay may access sa mga merkado, sa post-harvest facilities at credits. Dito magkakaroon ng direktang merkado ang mga magsasaka para maiwasan ang deduction sa kanilang mga kita,” the senator said.
Aside from Sagip Saka, Pangilinan has also filed pro-farmer and pro-fisher bills including the creation of Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the Coco Levy Trust Fund that aims to increase income in the agriculture sector.
Meanwhile, Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado stated the importance of vegetable farming and vowed to empower the farming communities in producing enough, accessible and affordable food for everyone.
“Buo ang suporta ng Pamahalaang Panlalawigan ng Bulacan sa mga programa at proyekto ng administrasyon para sa ikauunlad ng sektor ng agrikultura. Ang pagtaas ng kita ng mga magsasaka ay isang magandang istratehiya upang patuloy silang magpatuloy sa paghahatid ng pagkain sa ating hapag,” the governor said.
Moreover, the Philippine Vegetable Industry Development Board, Department of Agriculture and hundreds of agriculturists from different parts of the Philippines commended the Provincial Government of Bulacan for its organized hosting of the three-day event that aimed to boost the agriculture industry more specifically in the field of vegetable farming.