Salceda wants 500 percent increase in agri budget
Outgoing Albay Gov. Jose Salceda said he will push for a five-fold increase in the budget of the agriculture sector when he joins the 17th Congress.
The Philippine News Agency quoted Salceda as saying that the P68-billion agriculture budget is only 2 percent of the national budget, yet the sector contributes 20 percent to economic growth.
Salceda also said the agriculture sector employs 45 percent of the country’s labor force.
He noted that 75 percent of the poverty incidence prevails in the countryside, which is where the agriculture workers are.
The Bicol region is fifth in terms of poverty incidence.
Salceda said raising the budget for agriculture would help alleviate poverty and bring employment opportunities in the rural areas.
He said he will also bat for the setting up of special trust funds like P20 billion for business incubation, P20 billion for arts and culture, P20 billion for basic research and development, P20 billion for technology diffusion and extension and P20 billion for international tourism marketing.