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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Solon seeks more budget for agri dep’t

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AGRI Party-list Rep. Wilbert T.  Lee appealed to the House leadership to provide an additional P521 million in the budget of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in House Bill 4488 or the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) to streamline the effectivity of the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA).

In his letter to the Committee on Appropriations, Lee sought more funding for the targeted activities of the RSBSA such as the complete profiling of farmers and fisherfolks, georeferencing of 846,000 hectares on top of the approved 353,800 hectares, and upgrading of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) network. 

“It is crucial that farmers and fisherfolks register to the RSBSA so they can access DA’s services,” Lee said.

“The requested additional amount is needed to complete the integration of other agri-fishery databases, such as the National Coconut Farmers Registry of the Philippine Coconut Authority and the Municipal Fisherfolk Registry of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources,” he added.

During Lee’s interpellation on the proposed 2023 budget of the DA, the agency confirmed that farmers and fisherfolks must be registered to the RSBSA to receive their ayuda from the programs of the DA.

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According to Lee, the requested increase in funding will also be used to fully integrate RSBSA with other national government agencies for data harmonization purposes such as the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) and the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

“Fixing the RSBSA will be essential in ensuring that farmers and fisherfolks even from the most remote regions of our country get the assistance they need especially during these trying times,” Lee stated. 

Prior to this, Lee inquired on the need to digitize RSBSA for faster and more accurate encoding of information in the database.

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