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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

06 September 2022 04:30:46 PM

A House leader on Tuesday expressed confidence that the nearly 40 percent increase in next year’s budget of the Department of Agriculture (DA), coupled with the continued targeted subsidies of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for the vulnerable
sector, will help manage and cushion the impact of higher inflation rates.

Marikina City Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo, a senior vice chairperson of the House committee on appropriations, welcomed the DA's increase in budgetary allocation, saying this will help implement programs that would ensure food security.

“Kaya importante na tumaas ang budget ng DA. As we know, iyung inflation rate kasi weighted average iyan ng inflation rate ng ibat-ibang commodities. As we know, iyung commodity na mayroong pinakamalaking weight is of course food, one way to reduce food inflation rate is to ensure na mayroon tayong adequate supply,” Quimbo said during the Ugnayan sa Batasan Majority News Forum.

“So ibig sabihin, kailangan nating palawakin ang suplay ng agricultural crops natin. Nandiyan ang bigas, corn, of course nandiyan ang karne, ang fish at meat,” Quimbo added.

For the Marikina lawmaker, the decision to augment the DA's budget is a big step in the right direction.

“So tama naman po ang direksiyon ng ating gobyerno na bigyan ng sapat
na atensiyon at sapat na increased ang budget ng Department of Agriculture," Quimbo said.

“Kapag dumadami kasi iyung suplay natin, ang ibig sabihin puwede nating mapababa ang presyo ng pagkain,” she stressed.

DA and its attached agencies’ budget for next year have increased by P46.5 billion or 39.62 percent from this year’s P117.29 billion to P163.75 billion in 2023.

Quimbo also underscored the importance of DSWD’s continued subsidies to help the vulnerable sectors survive the impact of higher consumer

“Kaya importante ang DSWD assistance programs, we have to make sure na ang ating mga kababayan na nangangailangan, nandiyan ang sufficiently funded na ibat-ibang assistance programs. With or without the pandemic, dapat may assistance programs talaga,” Quimbo added.

She lamented that the Russia-Ukraine war and the interest rate hike in
the United States have resulted in higher inflation rates.

“Kung titingnan natin, ang source kasi ng inflation rate is really beyond our control. Una diyan of course ang nangyayaring
digmaan sa Russia at Ukraine na nagpapataas ng presyo ng langis, number two iyung pagtaas ng interest rate ng US. Sabi nga nila, kapag
humahatsing ang US, iyung mga maliliit na katulad natin sinisipon, so ganun eh,” Quimbo said.

Reports said the country’s August inflation would likely be at 6.7
percent. In July, it accelerated to 6.4 percent from 6.1 percent in June. (END)