Ensuring food security, helping farmers, fishermen – Bong Go

CITTING to the crucial role of farmers and fishers in ensuring food security, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go stressed the need to continue to strengthen systems and infrastructure to support agriculture as he welcomed the recent enactment of a measure that expands agriculture, fishing and rural areas. development finance system.

Go was one of the authors of the measure, which became Republic Act (RA) 11901.

Through reforms to the current structure of the financial system, the senator said that rural communities will have better access to credit, which will help improve their well-being, competitiveness, incomes and productivity, especially for farmers. , fishers, agricultural workers and organizations and others target beneficiaries from rural communities.

“Pangunahing source ng kabuhayan ng karamihan ating mamamayang Pilipino ang agrikultura, kaya dapat mas palakasin pa natin ang mga programa o kaya naman dagdagan pa upang mas lalo pong ma-engganyo ing ating mga magsasaka. Sila angsisiguro na may makain tayo sa araw-araw ( Agriculture is the main source of income for many of our Filipino compatriots. We must continue to strengthen our agricultural support systems to encourage our farmers. We depend on them for the food we eat every day)”, Go added.

“It is essential that we support our farmers and fisherfolk. To ensure people in rural areas have equitable development prospects, we must continue to strengthen agricultural support systems and infrastructure,” he said.

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Drafted primarily by Senator Cynthia Villar, the new law requires all banking institutions, except newly created banks, to set aside at least 25% of their total loanable funds for the agriculture and fisheries sectors after five years. of activity.

The total loanable funds generated by a banking institution will be defined by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

In addition, the Landbank and Development Bank of the Philippines are tasked with using their resources to invest in and promote digital banking technology, automation, branchless banking and treasury agent operations to reach the most remote areas. remote areas, and the use of e-commerce and mobile phones. apps to reach rural audiences.

By law, funding must take the form of loans and investments to support programs, projects or activities to improve productivity, encourage competitiveness and promote the sustainable development of rural communities.

This includes post-harvest activities such as processing, storage, marketing, distribution and logistics.

The measure repealed RA 10000, or the “Farm Credit Reform Act of 2009″, which was originally designed to extend access to credit to the agricultural sector.

Go has previously said the old law needs to be improved as most farmers and fishers remain a low-income, impoverished and high-risk sector due to lack of means and mechanisms to add value to their products.

He has long stressed the importance of supporting the agriculture and fisheries sectors in the Philippines, noting that food security is a vital part of the country’s national security.

Go also advocated for other programs to support the country’s farmers and fishers, such as improving farmland irrigation and expanding the National Rice Program.

He saw the need to invest heavily in the creation of regional and provincial storage facilities to avoid waste of agricultural products.

The senator pushed for the promotion of agripreneurship and the provision of incentives to children of farmers, such as better scholarships, to encourage them to continue working.

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