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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau



23 September 2022 01:30:39 PM

The House of Representatives on Friday ended plenary debates on the proposed P15.85 billion budget of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) for fiscal year 2023. In her interpellation, Rep. Arlene Brosas (Party-list, GABRIELA) raised that Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) need additional assistance from the government to be able to maintain the productivity of their acquired lands. Rep. Joseph Stephen “Caraps” Paduano (Party-list, ABANG LINGKOD) echoed this sentiment, noting that aside from providing land tenure security to landless farmers, the DAR’s mandates also includes the delivery of support services. He said this would ensure productivity and development of the lands and the farmers. Under the 2023 National Expenditure Program (NEP), the agency allocated: 1) P9.17 billion for the Land Tenure Security Program, 2) P915 million for the Agrarian Justice Delivery Program, and 3) P1.57 billion for the ARB Development and Sustainability Program. Paduano added that the DAR must partner with the Department of Agriculture (DA) to achieve food security and rural development. Rep. Teodorico Haresco Jr. (2nd District, Aklan), sponsor of DAR’s budget, assured the agency’s commitment to enhance their collaboration with the DA for the advancement of ARBs and the promotion of Philippine agriculture. Additionally, Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella III, through Haresco, vowed to ramp up efforts to support agricultural and rural cooperatives to promote sustainable, competitive, and large-scale production in the country. Deputy Speaker Kristine Singson-Meehan presided over the hybrid plenary session.