With crop damage caused by El Niño now reaching almost P8 billion, ANAC-IP Rep. Jose T. Panganiban who also chairs the House of Representatives’ agriculture committee is urging government to release needed financial aid to the 247,610 affected farmers and help offset their losses.
According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the amount of damage to agriculture caused by El Niño has reached P7,962,521,866.
Among the affected regions are CAR, Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, CALABARZON, (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) MIMAROPA (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan), Bicol, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Western Mindanao, Northern Mindanao, Southern Mindanao, Central Mindanao and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
“Government could use the President’s Social Fund, which is set aside for such emergencies, to fund financial assistance efforts for affected farmers.”
“Indigenous peoples who rely on the environment for their livelihood should also be given financial aid,” said Panganiban, who belongs to the Gaddang IP group, and is the first nominee for ANAC-IP Party-list.
“Sa ngalan ng mga magsasaka at IP, nananawagan ako sa ating pangulong Rodrigo R. Duterte, huwag po natin silang pabayaan,” said Panganiban.
Panganiban added that the country’s food security would be at risk, and that the price of basic goods could again rise if the productivity loss due to El Niño is not addressed.
Panganiban said government could use the President’s Social Fund, which is set aside for such emergencies, to fund financial assistance efforts for affected farmers.
“Indigenous peoples who rely on the environment for their livelihood should also be given financial aid.”
Agency savings from 2018, as well as the Calamity and Quick Response Funds, could also be used, he said.
“Naniniwala tayo na may plano na ang administrasyon sa pagtugon sa mga magsasaka at IP natin, pero dadagdag na rin lang tayo sa mga boses ng mga humihingi ng agarang aksyon,” said the legislator.
The solon added that it would help give affected farmers peace of mind were the president to announce himself that aid is coming.
“Karamihan sa mga kababayan natin ay nagtitiwala sa pangulo. Malaking bagay na magbigay ng commitment si Presidente na nariyan ang pamahalaan para tulungan ang mamamayan nito,” he said.