‘Continue aid to farmers, fisherfolk’
Rhodina Villanueva, Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - May 30, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The government should continue to provide financial assistance to farmers and fisherfolk even though most parts of the country will shift to general community quarantine (GCQ) on Monday.

The Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pama-lakaya) said farmers and fishermen are still faced with challenges in harvesting and marketing their produce.

“Economic activities, including transportation, are still limited under GCQ, affecting a  significant number of ordinary workers who barely make ends meet,” Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya national chairman, said.

Pamalakaya said farmers and fishermen need at least P15,000 in production subsidy, especially in view of an impending oil price hike.

The group said the subsidy could be sourced from the P51-billion allocation of the Department of Agriculture (DA) under its Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat Kontra (ALPAS) COVID, also known as the Plant, Plant, Plant Program.

“The DA should divert its funds from ALPAS-COVID and food logistics to direct fishing and farming production subsidy to strengthen the capacity of our food producers,” Hicap said.

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