The Department of Agriculture (DA) is proposing a PHP130 billion budget for 2019 to provide bigger easy access credit fund, better rice program, and to boost maritime presence in Philippine (Benham) Rise, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said.
This year’s DA budget is at PHP60 billion.
Part of the proposed 2019 budget is the PHP19.6 billion for fishery law enforcement.
Under the proposed budget is funding for the acquisition of 4 more units of 50.5-meter multi-mission offshore vessel (MMOV). Currently, there are 2 MMOVs in active service, the BRP Lapu-Lapu and BRP Francisco Dagohoy constructed by Josefa Slipways Inc in Navotas.
The 2 MMOVs were commissioned to BFAR service on December 21, 2017.
DA is also eyeing a refrigerated food boat to transport food commodities across the country, and helicopter patrols to monitor the country’s 24 fishing grounds.
Piñol added that they are also proposing to increase easy access credit fund to PHP10 billion from this year’s PHP1 billion.
“I’m asking PHP10 billion for easy access credit because we are slowly shifting from loans to financing as approved by the President,” Piñol said as quoted by Inquirer.net.
He added that the DA is also eyeing to allocate PHP13.76 billion for its rice program.