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Villar denies she's anti-research, says she just wants balance


 

Senator Cynthia Villar on Friday said that authorities must strive to strike a balance on funding both research projects and other initiatives with practical application in agriculture.

"Ang sinasabi ko lang, babalansihin lang nila kasi importante din na kalahati ng budget pagkasyahin na nila sa ganun (research) tapos 'yung kalahati ibigay na nila sa mga tao in terms of projects," Villar said in an interview on Unang Balita.

"Aanhin ba natin ang research kung hindi naman mapapakinabangan kaya gusto lang natin hahatiin nila 'yung budget. Kung may research nga tapos wala namang application, it won't benefit our farmers," she added.

Seeds, farm equipment, and irrigation are what the farmers need the most, according to Villar, head of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food.

During a budget hearing on Wednesday, Villar questioned the proposed financial allocation of the Department of Agriculture for corn research and calamity assistance.

"Baliw na baliw kayo sa research? Aanhin niyo ba yung research? Ako, matalino akong tao pero hindi ko maintindihan 'yung research niyo. Lalo na 'yung farmer, gusto ba nung farmer 'yung research? Hindi ba gusto nila tulungan niyo sila? Bakit ba lahat ng budget ninyo research? Ayusin niyo 'yan," she said.

The National Corn Program also assists the farmers through seed and fertilizer distribution, according to its national coordinator Lorenzo Carangan. —Dona Magsino/KBK, GMA News