Robredo vows to double agri sector budget if elected president

Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday said she will double the budget for the agriculture sector in the country within six years if she is elected president in the 2022 elections.

Robredo, in an address before the 47th Philippine Business Conference and Expo, said the agricultural sector has managed to post growth despite lockdowns and dip in production across all sectors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She said this can only get better with appropriate support.

“Agriculture actually grew last year. It has been resilient in the face of the pandemic; imagine how much more it can grow if we give it enough funding,” Robredo said.

“But we do not have to just imagine: Under my administration, we will see it for ourselves. Babaguhin natin ang mindset ng gobyerno [we will change the government’s mindset]: Instead of importation, we will prioritize strengthening local production,” she added.

“We will strengthen agriculture. We will double funding for agriculture from 1.7% of the national budget today to 3.4% by 2028. We will ensure this money is well-spent and balanced across all agricultural sectors and stakeholders in the country.”

Robredo also said her administration will ensure no jobs will be lost due to the pandemic through a conditional stimulus package for micro, small and medium enterprises, provided that they do not lay off workers.

Likewise, Robredo said that there is a need to rebuild trust in government by making sure that policies are dependable and predictable.

“Foreign and domestic investments, we all know, will only dramatically rise if we have the necessary infrastructure and logistics for them to thrive. To do this, we need to offer a stable and strong political and economic climate. We need to prioritize lowering of power rates and other utility costs, and prioritize mass transport,” Robredo said.

“Our government, aside from improving ease of doing business, will not change the rules in the middle of the game,” she added. —KBK, GMA News

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