Issue of March 29, 2020
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DA proposes P32-billion food security program
by DA release

To ensure production of adequate, accessible and affordable food, the Department of Agriculture is requesting for a P32 billion supplemental budget to implement a food security program, dubbed “Ahon lahat, pagkaing sapat (Alpas) kontra sa Covid-19.”

“This initiative, on top of the Department’s existing programs, is aimed at averting food shortage, supply disruptions, and unstable prices due to the adverse impact of the Covid-19 on farm and fishery production, and transport of basic commodities and processed food products to urban areas, particularly Metro Manila,” said Sec. William Dar.

“The Alpas Covid-19 program will enable the country to attain a food-secure Philippines during this national emergency period,” he added.

“With the Covid-19 pandemic, we expect a tightening of global food supply. We are aware that when there is not enough food, disorder is probable,” he said.

“While improving our food adequacy level, we should aim for food security. If no action is done, the threat of hunger is as real as the threat of the virus,” he noted.

“Therefore, we will expand farm areas, improve production efficiencies, and enhance projects and activities to ensure affordability and availability of food supply,” Dar said.

The proposed P32B supplemental budget is allotted for rice resiliency project, P8.5B; palay procurement fund of the National Food Authority, P7B; expanded SURE Aid and recovery project, P3B; and expanded agriculture insurance project, P3B.

It also covers social amelioration for farmers and farm workers, P3B; upscaling of Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita, P1B; integrated livestock and corn resiliency project, P1B; expanded small ruminants and poultry project, P1B; coconut-based diversification project, P1B; and fisheries resiliency project, P1B.

Also covered by the supplemental budget are revitalized gulayan project, P1B; urban agriculture project, P500 million; acquisition of protective personal equipment, P500M; corn for food project, P300M; and information, education and communications project, P200M.

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