MANILA - The Department of Agriculture (DA) provided PHP157 million worth of various agricultural interventions to the province of Misamis Oriental on Monday.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar and members of the DA-Regional Field Office 10 led the activity, which forms part of the support of the national government to food heroes -- the farmers and other workers who continued with their agricultural activities despite the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"The holistic strategy, which seeks to transform agriculturein local government units (LGUs), serves as the framework of the DA in attaining its twin goal, masaganang ani at mataas na kita (productive yield and high earnings)," Dar said in his speech.
The assistance included PHP11 million unconditional cash grants for 2,322 rice farmers tilling two hectares and below under the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA), and PHP11.77 million indemnity to 1,358 hog raisers affected by the African swine fever.
The DA has been strengthening its partnership with the LGUswiththe implementation of the Mandanas-Garcia ruling, which states that the just share of LGUs from national taxes is not limited to national internal revenue taxes collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue but also includes collections by the Bureau of Customs.
The Mandanas-Garcia cases resulted from the petitions of Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas and former Bataan Governor Enrique Garcia, Jr. in the Supreme Court in 2018 and were reaffirmed in 2019.
During the recent National Food Security Summit, Dar said it as a favorable development that has long been awaited by LGUs.
"With more financial resources, the provincial governments, in particular, can significantly boost the delivery of devolved functions and better perform their role as the country's food security czars," Dar said.
The Mandanas-Garcia ruling is expected to increase the Internal Revenue Allotment of LGUs, starting in 2022, by PHP234.4 billion to PHP1.8 trillion, 27.6 percent more than in previous years, according to the Department of Budget and Management.
The LGUs can spend their IRA on infrastructure, agriculture, social welfare, health care, and livelihood, among other sectors, listed in the Local Government Code of 1991. (PNA)