THE Department of Agriculture on Sunday said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has approved a P31-billion supplemental budget to fund food security efforts amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was among the several recommendations approved by the task force that include unhampered transport of all farm and fishery products, and supplies used for farming and fishing, including food packaging and manufacturing materials,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.
Dar, in a statement, said the amount will be endorsed by the IATF-EID to President Duterte for his consideration and approval.
Dar said of the amount, P7.5 billion will go to the rice resiliency project; P7 billion, palay procurement fund of the National Food Authority; P3 billion, expanded SURE Aid and recovery project; P3 billion, expanded agriculture insurance project; and P3 billion, social amelioration for farmers and farm workers.
Dar also said P1 billion each will go to the upscaling of KADIWA ni Ani at Kita to provide rolling market places, the integrated livestock and corn resiliency project, expanded small ruminants and poultry project, coconut-based diversification project, fisheries resiliency project, and the revitalized “gulayan” project.
Other projects are the urban agriculture project and the acquisition of protective personal equipment for P500 million each; P300 million for corn-for-food project; and P200 million for information, education and communications project.
“The Task Force also reiterated that farmers, fishers, and workers in agri-fishery production, processing and manufacturing enterprises, including those involved in the entire food value chain are exempted from the curfew imposed in observance of the enhanced community quarantine,” Dar said.