Senator asks Philmech to upscale farm mechanization

MANILA. Senator Cynthia Villar. (SunStar File)

SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ, Nueva Ecija -- Re-elected Senator Cynthia Villar, chair of the senate committee on agriculture and food, is urging the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (Philmech) to upscale support to farmers by providing farm machinery.

Villar, the keynote speaker during the Philmech’s 41st anniversary celebration here Tuesday, May 21, said mechanization is vital in empowering farmers amid liberalization in agriculture.

“Yan ang mission natin, na kailangan i-empower nila yung mga farmer sa Pilipinas (That is our mission, we need to empower farmers in the Philippines) by giving them machinery and teaching them how to use it, how to maintain it,” said Villar in an interview after the event.

The senator said Philmech is one of the agencies specifically stated in the implementation of the rice tariffication law that provides a P10-billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF).

Aside from mechanization, she cited the need to encourage farmers to use inbred rice which the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), also based in this city, produces.

Villar advised the Department of Agriculture against using RCEF allocation in purchasing hybrid rice seeds.

“Pwede nilang gamitin yung P7-billion budget nila pero hindi ang RCEF (They can use their P7-billion budget but not the RCEF),” she said.

As yet another form of support, she asked the Department of Social Welfare and Development to use its P28-billion conditional cash transfer fund, popularly known as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), in procuring locally produced rice.

“Kumausap sila ng mga kooperatiba ng farmers doon sila bumili and then doon din i-distribute sa lugar na where the cooperatives are (They have to talk to the farmers cooperatives to procure rice and then distribute to the places where the cooperatives are),” she added. (PR)


SunStar website welcomes friendly debate, but comments posted on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of the SunStar management and its affiliates. SunStar reserves the right to delete, reproduce or modify comments posted here without notice. Posts that are inappropriate will automatically be deleted.

Forum rules:

Do not use obscenity. Some words have been banned. Stick to the topic. Do not veer away from the discussion. Be coherent. Do not shout or use CAPITAL LETTERS!