SAYING that Mindanao supplies 40% of the country’s food requirements and contributes 30% to the national food trade, Senator Cynthia A. Villar guaranteed to further boost growth in the agricultural sector.
As a lawmaker, Villar said she had crafted and pushed for laws to improve the lives of our farmers and stakeholders in the agri sector.
The senator, chairperson of the Senate committee on agriculture and food, was the Guest Speaker in the Kilusang Pagbabago (KP) 1st Regional Farmers Summit held at the Corpus Christi Gym, Macasanding, Cagayan De Oro City last January 19.
The KP’s 1st summit’s theme was “Unity of the Farmers is the new Challenge of the Future for Sustainable Development.”
During the summit, the senator spelled out the laws she authored and sponsored to help Mindanao, of which 1/3 of its land has been allocated to agriculture.
These laws are the following:
1. Hatchery Laws. During 16th Congress, 10 Multi-specie Marine Hatchery bills were enacted into law and 7 of them are for provinces in Mindanao.
In the 17th and 18th Congresses, 31 Multi-specie Marine Hatchery bills became a law and seven of them were for Mindanao.
2. RA No. 10659 or the Sugarcane Industry Development Act (SIDA).
3. RA No. 10816 or Farm Tourism Development Law, which created farm schools in every town in the Philippines. Today, there are 2,805 farm schools.
4- RA No. 10817 or An Act Instituting the Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Program.
5. RA 11511 or An Act Amending RA No.10068 or the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010, which make the certification of organic products cheaper and affordable to small farmers.
6. RA No. 11524 or Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act.
7- RA No. 115471 or An Act Declaring the City of Davao as the Chocolate Capital of the Philippines and the entire Davao Region (Region 11) the Cacao Capital of the Philippines.
8- RA No. 11203 or the Rice Tarificarion Law, which funded the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF).
9- RA No. 11598 or the Cash Assistance for Filipino Farmers Act. Funded from the collection of tariff on imported rice to 1.6 M small farmers, owning 2 hectares and below at P5,000 per year.
The senator also committed to pass in the current Congress the Livestock Poultry and Dairy Development Law and Corn Industry Development Law.
Kilusang Pagbabago is an organization that aims to help change the lives of people in consonance with the programs of former President Rodrigo Duterte. These programs are against crimes, drugs and corruption; intensifying social services; raising quality of life and living standards; peace and unity and federalism.