SENATE APPROVES SAGIP SAKA BILL

MANILA – Just a couple of days before the Farmers’ and Fisherfolk’s Month ends on May 31, the Senate on Tuesday passed on third and final reading the Sagip Saka Bill with a unanimous vote of 21-0.

Senate Bill No. 1281, also known as the Sagip Saka Bill, seeks to provide tax incentives to the private sector that buy agricultural produce directly from accredited farmers and fishers’ enterprises. The private sector may also provide or donate equipment, machineries, and other forms of assistance to farmers and fishers engaging in enterprise development.

The bill, principally authored and sponsored by Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, also seeks to require LGUs to buy their food needs (rice, vegetables, poultry, etc.) for their feeding programs, and calamity and relief operations from farmers’ associations without any bidding.

“This multi-sectoral approach brings together the government, the private sector, local government units, farmer and fisher groups. Buying directly from farmers’ associations reduces wastage and increases their incomes,” Pangilinan said.

“This means bigger incomes for our farmers and fisherfolk which should have always been the benchmark of success for any agricultural program,” said the former chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food.

The Sagip Saka bill is one of Pangilinan’s pro-farmer and pro-fisher priority pieces of legislation for the 17th Congress.

“The agriculture and fisheries sector has long been given less importance and priority in our country. Our farmers and fisherfolk continue to be among the poorest of the poor. It is not right that the very people who work tirelessly to provide food on our tables are the ones who are hungry and poor,” stressed Pangilinan.

“We thank our colleagues in the Senate for passing this important piece of legislation just in time before Farmers’ and Fisherfolk’s Month ends this May. This is one huge leap toward achieving food security in our country and ensuring that the lives of our farmers and fisherfolk are made better,” said the Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization under the Aquino administration.

***

SAGIP SAKA BILL, APRUBADO NG SENADO

MANILA – Ilang araw lang bago matapos ang Farmers’ and Fisherfolk’s Month sa Mayo 31, pinasa ng Senado nitong Martes sa ikatlo at huling pagbasa ang Sagip Saka Bill na may botong 21-0.

Layon ng Senate Bill No. 1281, o ang Sagip Saka Bill, na magbigay ng tax incentives sa mga bumibili ng mga produktong agrikultural direkta sa mga accredited na farmers and fishers’ enterprises. Maaari rin silang magbigay o mag-donate ng mga kagamitan, makinarya, at anumang uri ng tulong sa mga magsasaka at mangingisda na merong enterprise development.

Layon din nitong bill na pangunahing iniakda at isinulong ni Senador Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan na atasan ang mga LGU na bumili ng kanilang mga pangangailangan sa pagkain (bigas, gulay, poultry, atbp.) para sa kanilang feeding programs, at mga calamity at relief operations sa mga farmers’ associations nang hindi na kinakailangan pang dumaan sa bidding.

“Pinagsasama nitong multi-sectoral approach ang gobyerno, ang pribadong sektor, ang mga pamahalaang lokal, at mga grupo ng mga magsasaka at mangingisda. Mababawasan ang aksaya at tataas ang kita sa direktang pagbiili sa mga farmers’ associations,” ani Pangilinan.

“Ibig sabihin nito, mas malaki ang maiuuwing kita ng ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda na dapat na benchmark para sa anumang programang pang-agrikultura noon pa man,” ani ng dating taga-pangulo ng Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food.

Ang Sagip Saka Bill ay isa sa mga pangunahing panukalang batas na isinulong ni Pangilinan na para sa mga magsasaka at mangingisda nitong ika-17 Kongreso.

“Matagal nang hindi nabibigyan ng kahalagahan at prayoridad ang sector ng agrikultura at pangisdaan sa ating bansa. Sa ating lahat, nanatiling pinakamahihirap ang ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda. Hindi tama na ang mismong mga taong nagpapakain sa atin ang siyang nagugutom at naghihirap,” giit ni Pangilinan.

“Nagpapasalamat tayo sa ating mga kasamahan sa Senado sa pagpasa nitong mahalagang panukalang batas bago matapos ang Farmers’ and Fisherfolk’s Month ngayong Mayo. Isa itong malaking hakbang patungo sa pagkamit ng food security sa ating bansa at masiguro na ang buhay ng mga magsasaka at mangingisda ay guminhawa,” ani ng dating Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization noong Aquino administration.