CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- A Pampanga Provincial Board (PB) official vowed Wednesday to fight for the Office of the Provincial Agriculture's (OPA) "slashed" budget.

Third district Board Member and PB Chairman on the Committee on Agriculture Johnny "JQ" Quiambao made the vow after the proposal was filed during the 2010 budget hearing at Max's Restaurant in this city.

The PB noted that the budget of the OPA was cut from P44 million last year to P25 million this year. The balance of the said budget was transferred to "non-office" items under the Office of the Governor.

For updates from around the country, follow Sun.Star on Twitter

"The agriculture sector is one of our primary concerns that need dire assistance and development. Our farmers and fisherfolk have not even recovered from the recent calamities, that is why I am wondering why the budget was transferred to non-office when the OPA should be moving ahead with its plans for rehabilitation in agriculture," said Quiambao.

He also lamented the unspent savings of the Capitol, valued at some P94 million, while his request for and additional P50 million for the rehabilitation of farmlands and fishponds devastated by Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng has not been acted upon by the Executive.

He said the farmers have the right to know what the special projects are for this year under the Governor's Office and that the PB's committee on agriculture is looking after their welfare as well.

"Just recently, dumulog ulit sa atin ang maraming magsasaka at dumaing na wala pa ngang tulong na umaabot sa kanila. That is why I promised them na ipaglalaban ko ang dapat para sa kanila," he said. (JTD)