THE Department of Agriculture (DA) welcomed the recommendations of the World Bank (WB) in leveling up the efficiency and effectiveness of government spending in the agriculture sector.
DA Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban said that the WB’s Philippines Economic Update (PEU) December 2022 Edition is “extra special” for the agriculture sector as it focuses on a public expenditure review for agriculture.
Panganiban added that the report aligns well with the directions set out by President and concurrent DA Secretary Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. to improve fiscal management for the agriculture sector as one of many strategies in his development agenda.
“It is hoped that this will contribute to our efforts on rebuilding and restructuring the food value chains to address the root cause of the issues that have long hampered our sector’s growth,” he said.
The latest PEU also considers financial and functional devolution resulting from the Mandanas ruling and the challenges and policies needed to achieve agricultural productivity and food security in the medium and long term.
“The efficient use of public funds for public investments will help address the structural constraints of the sector and deliver better extension services, stronger value chain system, and improved business climate for agri-food system,” the PEU stated.
The PEU policy recommendations include focusing on diversification, investing in extension services, scaling up climate-smart agriculture policies and programs, and improving budget priority and process, among others.
Panganiban explained that the agency continues to innovate and work double time as it recognizes the challenge to build back better and be more resilient.
One of the innovations made by the DA is the National Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Plan (NAFMIP), which serves as the directional plan to transform the country’s food systems.
Its policy directions consider shifting from a single-commodity to a multi-commodity planning approach, promoting clustering and consolidation for economies of scale, enhancing the value chain, and climate resiliency.
“The DA will continue to embark [on] transforming and modernizing its ways and means in order to better serve the agriculture and fishery sector and contribute to the grand goal of a food-secured nation by empowering farmers and fishers to increase their productivity and profitability,” Panganiban added.
The PEU, a biannual publication of the World Bank, summarizes key economic and social developments, important policy changes, and the evolution of external conditions. It also covers issues from macroeconomic management and financial-market dynamics to the complex challenges of poverty reduction and social development.