MANILA – Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Monday said the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) proposed budget of P123.7 billion this year must be increased by P20 billion to address the consistently high inflation rate.
“The House had increased the budget of DA by P20 billion upon my instruction because I noticed that since my administration, the budget for DA had dropped significantly,” Arroyo said in a statement.
“We have to make sure the increase in the DA budget is retained in the final budget, because it will enable the DA to implement measures that will help farmers and increase production needed to control inflation,” she added.
The Agriculture department’s budget has an effect on the growth of the sector it manages, the House Speaker noted.
“As we were analyzing the budget, we realized that from six percent of the budget in my time, agriculture went down afterwards to 1.5 percent. No wonder we have shortage of food,” she said.
Arroyo earlier asked the House small committee on appropriations to increase the DA’s budget by P20 billion to curb inflation.
The small committee was constituted after the Committee of the Whole was convened to deliberate the proposed 2019 national budget.
Arroyo said intends to instruct House members who are part of the bicameral conference committee to ensure that the P20-billion additional fund for the DA stays in the budget. (GMA News)