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Villar seeks bigger budget for livestock sector

CEBU, Philippines — Senator Cynthia Villar want a bigger budget for the livestock sector as the budget being proposed  is not enough to fund its development.

Villar, who is chairperson of the Finance Subcommittee hearing,  asked Department of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol to come up with a better budget for the livestock sector with the P60-billion proposed budget of the Department of Agriculture for 2018.

The 2017 General Appropriations Act allocated P1.5 billion for livestock. For the National Expenditure Program 2018, the livestock program got P1.2 billion or a 2.7 percent share. The Fisheries Development Program got P1.4 billion while the National Rice Program got P11.8 billion.

"We need to improve the livestock sector so that we can also improve the dairy industry, which at present, only produces 1 percent of our demand for milk and other dairy products. We should also take into account that 65 percent of our livestock raisers are backyard farmers," Villar said in a press statement.

The lady senator said that the livestock sector contributed 33 percent of the production of the entire agriculture, so it is not fair for the said sector to get only this small amount.

Villar, who also heads the Committee on Agriculture and Food, also noted that this has been the practice for years, the National Livestock Program getting only a small share in the NEP.

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The proposed budget of DA of P60 billion consists of P58 billion in new appropriations and P2.7 billion automatic appropriations. (FREEMAN)

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