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P145.5-B production subsidy sought for 9.7M farmers, fisherfolk

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) is asking for a P145.5-billion subsidy for 9.7 million local farmers, agricultural workers, and fisherfolk to help them continue production amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Ang mungkahi namin una ay agricultural production. Isama po sa mga prayoridad na stimulus package ang pagpaplawak at pagpapataas ng produktong agrikultura," KMP chairperson Danilo Ramos said during a Senate hearing of the committees on finance and economic affairs.

"P15,000 subsidy para sa produksyon para po sa P9.7 million nabanggit ko [beneficiaries] katumbas po ito ng P145.5 billion," he added.

Ramos stressed that only a meager amount of assistance from the Department of Agriculture goes to direct subsidies to the farmers and fisherfolk.

"Ang malaki po ay para sa marketing at urban gardening. Eh hindi naman po lingid sa inyo na napakahalaga pong paunlarin natin ang produksyon," he said.

On top of the said production subsidy, Ramos also proposed a two-month cash assistance for the sector worth P10,000 each month. This would amount to P194 billion.

Other forms of wage subsidies and zero-interest loans are being lobbied for by the KMP. --KBK, GMA News