Bong Go

Bong Go to gov’t agencies: Support vulnerable farmers

July 10, 2023 People's Journal 277 views

SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go has urged the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), among other agencies, to prepare for the potential impact of the El Niño phenomenon by providing more robust food security initiatives for the Filipino people particularly the vulnerable and poor communities.

“Inaasahan natin na malaki ang epekto ng El Niño sa ating bansa kaya naman nananawagan ako sa gobyerno na magtulungan tayo na siguraduhin na may maayos na suporta ang ating mga kababayang Pilipino, lalung-lalo na ang mahihirap,” Go said.

“Importante ay walang magutom. Pangalagaan natin ang mga kababayan nating pinakanangangailangan,” he added.

An advisory issued by the United Nations on Tuesday, July 4, urged the world to prepare for the impact of El Niño phenomenon, as it can lead to elevated global temperatures.

The UN said there is a 90 percent probability that the El Niño will continue throughout 2023. This event typically occurs every two to seven years, and its duration typically ranges from nine to 12 months.

El Niño is commonly linked to heightened heat levels worldwide, accompanied by dry conditions in certain regions and heavy precipitation in others.

Go said there is an urgent need to address the potential effects of El Niño, particularly among the vulnerable sectors of society. He stressed the importance of providing adequate support to poor farming families to enhance their agricultural productivity and overall livelihood.

The senator urged DA to implement stronger programs that would benefit poor farming families. He said providing farming families with necessary resources and access to modern farming technologies will help improve their yields and enhance their economic well-being.

Go emphasized the importance of collaboration between the DA and the DSWD. By pooling their efforts, these two agencies can jointly implement programs that target impoverished communities, and ensure they have access to sufficient and nutritious food, Go said.

“Ang importante po sa akin ay may laman ang tiyan ng ating mga kababayan. Unahin natin ang kapakanan ng mga mahihirap. Dapat walang magutom,” Go urged.

“Dapat maramdaman nila ang pagbangon ng ekonomiya tungo sa mas ligtas at komportableng buhay pagkatapos ng pandemya. Food security has always been a critical concern for any nation, and the Philippines is no exception,” he stressed.

Go also emphasized the significance of two key bills. The first is Senate Bill No. 188 or the establishment of the Department of Disaster Resilience, which aims to strengthen the government’s disaster response capabilities. It also seeks to better prepare the country for the impact of natural hazards including El Niño.

Go said the DDR shall concentrate on three significant areas including disaster risk reduction, disaster preparedness and response, and recovery and building forward better.

The bill seeks to minimize the adverse effects of droughts and other weather-related crises on agriculture and food production.

The second bill highlighted by Go is SBN 140 or the Rural Employment Assistance Act, which seeks to create employment opportunities in rural areas to prepare for agricultural challenges like the El Niño.

SBN 140 seeks to offer temporary employment to eligible members of low-income rural households, who are ready to perform unskilled physical labor for a period of time.

“Dati nang nakaranas tayo ng kawalan ng tubig lalo na sa Metro Manila noon, at ngayon paparating na ang El Niño this middle of the year. Ngayon ang init, hanggang next year, may posibilidad na magkaroon ng long-term drought po sa ilang bahagi ng bansa. Kaya dapat tayo ay maging handa,” he noted.