A party-list legislator on Friday renewed her call to pass a bill that will provide incentives to the coffee growers affected by the lockdowns as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In celebration of International Coffee Day on Oct. 1, Rep. Sharon Garin, head of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Economic Affairs, again called for the passage of House Bill 3598, otherwise known as the Coffee Industry Development Act, which would institutional support to the coffee industry.
The bill would set up a national program to revitalize the coffee industry and introduce stronger measures to safeguard the welfare of coffee farmers.
The bill would also provide technical assistance in the planting systems and rehabilitation of farms, as well as the development of effective production systems.
Garin underscored the need for the bill’s immediate passage considering the losses suffered by the sector since the beginning of the year, which resulted from the eruption of Taal Volcano and the strict implementation of various community quarantines.
The bill, once enacted, “will provide a direction for the coffee industry that will help stakeholders recalibrate their strategies in terms of marketing and production,” Garin said.
She also underscored the need to spur consumption within the domestic market to generate demand. She said gaining a certain control of the domestic market instead of relying on exports would benefit coffee farmers.
The bill is under deliberation in the House Committee on Agriculture and Food. Garin says the bill could help revitalize the coffee sector by institutionalizing industry-wide improvements that would benefit farmers, processors, traders, consumers and other industry partners.