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Bigger fund for livestock, poultry sectors sought

Senator Cynthia Villar has called for an increase in the budget for the country’s livestock and poultry industries.

Villar, chair of the Senate committee on agriculture and food, said the budget being proposed by the Department of Agriculture (DA) for the livestock and poultry sectors would not be enough to fund its development.

The senator, during the deliberation of the finance subcommittee on the R60-billion proposed budget by the DA for 2018, prodded Secretary Emmanuel Piñol to come up with a better budget for the livestock sector.

Villar noted that the National Livestock Program, for years, has been getting only a small share in the National Expenditure Program (NEP).

The General Appropriations Act for this year allocated only P1.5 billion for the livestock program. The NEP for next year decreased its budget to P1.2 billion, translating to only a 2.7-percent share, compared with National Rice Program’s P11.8-billion.

“For a sector which have contributed 33 percent of the production of the entire agriculture, it is not fair for the livestock program to get only this small amount,” Villar said. (Vanne Elaine P. Terrazola)

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