LAGUNA, FEB. 11 – Vice-presidential candidate Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan made a push anew for ramped-up spending in agriculture to buoy activities in the sector and generate jobs.
“Mahigit P5 trillion ang budget natin ngayon taon. Dapat taumbayan ang makikinabang, hindi ibubulsa ng iilan habang milyon-milyon sa ating mga kababayan ang walang makain at walang trabaho,” Pangilinan said.
“Dapat maramdaman ng mga magsasaka at mangingisda ang budget ng bayan,” he added.
Pangilinan issued the remark as the Philippine Statistics Authority released its data showing that the number of unemployed adults, or those aged 15 and above, in December 2021 stood at 3.27 million or an unemployment rate of 6.6 percent.
This was higher by over 100,000 compared to the November 2021 figures.
Pangilinan rued that millions of Filipinos remain without source of income despite eased Covid-19 restrictions.
He said the DA must accelerate the use of its funds to fuel economic activity in the sector and provide employment opportunities.
He said funds for irrigation must be utilized to aid farmers in having better yields.
Pangilinan also batted for better access to formal credit and financing with easy payment terms, crop insurance and additional support mechanism such as post-harvest facilities, better roads and agricultural extension services.
Pangilinan, together with presidential candidate Leni Robredo earlier vowed to double the budget of the Agriculture department if they get elected.
They stressed that the sector which provides food and nourishment to the Filipinos should not suffer from budget starvation to be able to contribute to the country’s economic bounce back.