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According to Sen. Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate finance committee P2 billion will cover the maintenance expenses of irrigation facilities.
“At present, our farmers need to pay the irrigation service fee for NIA to irrigate their farms when, in fact, what we need to pursue is the lowering of production costs so we can achieve food security, encourage more citizens to engage in or go back to farming, and improve the income of our small farmers,” Legarda said.
“This intervention in the budget is only the first step to free our small farmers from the added burden of having to pay for irrigation fees. What we really intend is to make it a policy of government,” Legarda added.
As provided the P3.3-trillion national budget, the farmers will no need to pay the irrigation service fees (ISF).
It will be going to be burden free for the farmers. As Legarda was co-authored the proposed Free Irrigation Reform and Restructuring Act, she will push through to remove the to make free irrigation a national policy.
Under the said measure, ISFs will be abolished and the maintenance of the irrigation systems will be the responsibility of the farmers who will be provided professional support.
“The free irrigation for farmers under the 2017 national budget will be a big boost for the agriculture sector and we will continue to support improvements in the sector through various measures and policies, including the immediate passage of the proposed Free Irrigation Act,” Legarda stated.
Source: GMA, Rappler