Sen. Padilla: Empower coops to help farmers, IPs

October 26, 2022 PS Jun M. Sarmiento 272 views

SENATOR Robinhood Padilla, during Thursday’s hearing of the Finance Subcommittee I on the proposed 2023 budget of the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), stressed the role of cooperatives in empowering the people, especially poor farmers, and indigenous people (IP).

Padilla, Vice Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Cooperatives, noted that the distribution of fertilizers to farmers through local government units (LGUs) has, at some point in time, been “politicized.”

He thus suggested to the Department of Agriculture (DA) to course the distribution of fertilizers to farmers through the cooperatives.

“Can our cooperatives take this responsibility from the LGUs and supervise the distribution of fertilizers and other programs of the DA to the farmers?” Padilla, who chairs the Senate Committee on Cultural Communities and Muslim Affairs, also noted cooperatives could help IPs avail of government services.

CDA Chairman Usec. Joseph Encabo, in response, said cooperatives, especially farmers, can manage the distribution of fertilizers since they have direct knowledge of the beneficiaries and their conditions.

Meanwhile, during the hearing, Sen. Cynthia Villar continued her scrutiny of the proposed 2023 budget under the DA.

Villar examined the programs and projects of the Bureau of Soils and Water Management, Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority, Bureau of Agricultural Research, and Climate Resilience Agriculture Office vis-à-vis their proposed allocations.

Villar, who chairs the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Food, and Agrarian Reform, told the agencies under the DA to specify the locations and beneficiaries targeted for their projects to ensure the effectiveness of implementation.

She also warned officials against overlapping and duplication of research being conducted by agencies, urging them to make sure that they do their work for the benefit of the people.