House panel OKs bill extending ACEF fund to 2022
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - October 17, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The House Committee on Agriculture and Food has approved a measure extending the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF) to 2022 to allow the government to use the remaining P2 billion for the sector.

The panel passed House Bill 6162, a consolidation of three similar bills and four resolutions authored separately by 31 lawmakers, including Batangas Rep. Mark Llandro Mendoza, chairman of the committee.

The ACEF is allocated by Congress from the proceeds of the importation of minimum access volume to be utilized for the development of farm or agricultural infrastructure and machinery, creation of agricultural social infrastructure, implementation of other projects and support for enhancement of global trade competitiveness and to improve the lives of small farmers and other stakeholders in the sector.

At least P2 billion remains as the current balance of the ACEF, which when utilized and managed well, can spur agricultural competitiveness locally and globally, according to the authors of the bill.

The ACEF is set to expire at the end of the year. Authors of the bill said the “extension of the ACEF up to 2022 would certainly help attain its purpose of significantly raising farm productivity levels by providing the necessary support services to the agriculture sector.”

HB 6162 expands the beneficiaries to include local government units, state universities and colleges, other government institutions, accredited non-government organizations, people’s organizations, cooperatives, farmer/fisherfolk organizations and other accredited groups involved in agricultural development and promotion.?

The bill also earmarks 10 percent of ACEF for a comprehensive scholarship program for agriculture, forestry, fisheries and veterinary medicine education.?

The proposed law also provides for a strategic investment plan to be formulated by the Department of Agriculture (DA), in consultation with the Congressional Oversight Committee on Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization (COCAFM), which shall periodically evaluate the plan and review the utilization of the ACEF.   

ACEF ACIRC AGRICULTURAL COMPETITIVENESS ENHANCEMENT FUND AGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES MODERNIZATION AGRICULTURE AND FOOD BATANGAS REP CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE HOUSE BILL HOUSE COMMITTEE MARK LLANDRO MENDOZA
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