Two Pangasinan congressmen and local executives expressed support for the implementation of Sagip Saka Act as COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect local farmers and fishermen.

Pangasinan’s 6th District Congressman Tyrone Agabas said his office, in fact, encourages Pangasinan LGUs to implement Sagip Saka.

“This is a tool, a mechanism to capacitate not only the farmers, but also the LGUs.”

“It’s a good measure. I would like to encourage our LGUs — napakaraming MAO [municipal agricultural officers] dito as representatives ng mga mayors, to adopt itong programang ito because this is a tool, a mechanism to capacitate not only the farmers, but also the LGUs,” Agabas said during a consultation on Sagip Saka.

Deputy Speaker and 3rd District Representative Congresswoman Rose Marie “Baby” Arenas said that this is the first time a comprehensive law for farmers has become available.

“This is a victory for farmers and fishermen.”

“This is a victory for farmers and fishermen. Because for the first time in history, we have a comprehensive law that recognizes the needs of our farmers [and] our fisherfolk, and provides concrete measures to address these. Ako po ay nangangako na susuportahan natin ito,” Arenas said.

For Senator Kiko Pangilinan, cooperation between the House and the Senate is crucial in improving the agriculture sector.

“We have to work together to potentially amend the law, and increase capital for our farmers,” Pangilinan said, noting the benefits of the law.

“Dahil direktang nakakabili ang LGU, mas mataas ang kita ng mga magsasaka at mas mababa rin ang presyo ng pagbili ng LGU kaysa kung dumadaan pa sa middleman — win-win ‘ika nga,” the veteran legislator added.

Sagip Saka Act was signed into law in April 2019.

It mandates LGUs and national and local government agencies to purchase directly from accredited farmers and fisher-folk cooperatives, foregoing public bidding and instead through negotiated procurement.

As of November 30, 2020, a total of 443 LGUs have purchased agricultural products directly from farmers and fisherfolk.

The estimated value purchased increased from P2.592 billion in July to P2.737 billion in November.

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