‘If you can subsidize LRT, why not give free irrigation?’
The AKO Bicol Party-list has filed a bill that seeks to eliminate irrigation fees for farmers by repealing the provision in the National Irrigation Authority’s charter that imposes irrigation fees on the farmers.
The bill is one of 15 filed by AKO Bicol Party-list.
“Our farmers already bear the costs of buying seedlings, leasing the farm lot, and buying beasts of burden to plow the land,” said AKO Bicol Representative Alfredo Garbin.
Garbin said irrigation should be shouldered by government in the first place, as part of benefits that include agricultural technology and infrastructure.
He said lifting the irrigation fees will give Bicolano farmers a long-term solution to their constant battle against poverty.
He said if government helps corporate employees through subsidies in basic transport like the Light Rail Transit, there is no reason for farmers to be deprived of free irrigation.
“Irrigation is a basic governmental function which comes at a little cost to the government. Aside from giving our farmers savings from cancelling the payment of irrigation fees, we will be helping them boost our overall agricultural productivity and ensure an adequate food supply, especially for those areas which are frequently stricken by disasters and natural calamities,” he added.