The House of Representatives has approved the proposed budget of the Department of Agriculture next year of P74.1 billion, as part of the 2013 General Appropriations Bill or House Bill 6455, a press release from the DA said.
The DA budget was sponsored by Rep. Nur Jaafar (Tawi-Tawi), who defended the agency’s allocation, which is 21 percent more than this year’s P64.1 billion.
The bulk of the 2013 DA budget will be spent on irrigation (P28.75B), postharvest and other infrastructure (P12.38B), production support (P6.87B), and extension support (P3.04B), the press release said.
The remaining amount will bankroll other major final outputs like regulatory (P2.52B), plans and policies (P2.26B), credit facilitation (P2.01B), research and development (P1.45B), and market development (P1.28B), it added.
Jaafar said the DA’s P74-billion budget will mostly go to irrigation, other major agri-fishery infrastructure, and support services to attain sufficiency in rice and other major staples by the end of 2013, and bankroll the Aquino administration’s Food Staples Sufficiency Program.
Under the FSSP, the government plans to produce next year at least 20 million metric tons of palay and 8.75 million MT of corn, the press release said.
DA Secretary Proceso Alcala said the DA will present and defend the proposed budget next month at the Senate.
On a commodity program basis, the DA identified allocated funds for such products as rice (P7.45B), fisheries (P3.66B), corn (P1.52B), high value crops (P1.36B), and livestock (P1.03B) within the 2013 budget, the press release said.
The DA regional offices, including ARMM, are allotted a total of P43.32B, while its eight bureaus will get P8.19B; nine attached agencies, P3.45B; and subsidy for seven attached corporations, P9.92B, it added.*