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Villar to push bills on agriculture, OFWs

Sen. Cynthia A. Villar has vowed to work for the passage by the 24-member Senate of bills protecting the plight of farmers and fisherfolk as well as Overseas Filipino Workers.

“We used the (Senate session) break to consult with our constituents and visited areas here and abroad where we learned the best practices in agriculture. In drafting the content of our bills, we were guided by the results of these consultations and visits,” Villar said as she listed down her priority legislative agenda for the 17th Congress that starts on July 25. Under the reorganization plan of incoming Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III for the 17th Congress, returning Sen. Francis Pangilinan will replace Villar as chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Food Committee.

Villar said she would prioritize the “Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Act.’’ This measure seeks to create a coconut levy trust fund for coconut farmers.

Last Congress, Villar was able to sponsor the bill under her Committee Report No. 106 and it reached the period of amendments in the Senate plenary in the 16th Congress that went into sine die adjournment last June 10.

“It is our objective to make a law that will be sufficient to realize our collective goal of ensuring long-term benefits to the 3.5 million Filipino coconut farmers,” she said. (Mario B. Casayuran)