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Expanded irrigation law to help farmers
UNITEAM senatorial candidate Harry Roque on Thursday said he wants to expand the scope of the “Free Irrigation Law” to ease the plight of farmers.
“Ang ninanais po natin kung tayo ay makarating Senado ay palawakin pa ang ating irrigation systems dahil hindi naman lahat ay sakop na mayroong irrigation systems,” Roque said.
Roque, a former congressman, was the author of Republic Act (RA) No. 10969, or the Free Irrigation Law, said he wanted to double the scope of the irrigation systems if elected.
The law ensures that irrigation services are made available through the continued construction, repair, and maintenance of necessary irrigation facilities.
“It would further relieve our farmers and their irrigation associations from the burden and consequences of unpaid irrigation service fees,” he said.
“Dito po napupunta ang buwis ng taumbayan, libreng patubig po para sa ating mga magsasaka,” he added.
Under the law, farmers are exempt from unpaid irrigation service fees, while outstanding irrigation service fees and loans are also condoned.
In 2018, the Department of Agriculture (DA) was given P2.67 billion for building, restoring, or enhancing small-scale irrigation projects and P4.28 billion for facility construction and agricultural gear and equipment acquisition.