DA welcomes World Bank recommendations to improve govt’s agri spending

Published December 9, 2022, 6:28 PM

by Jel Santos

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has welcomed the suggestions of the World Bank’s Philippines Economic Update (PEU) December 2022 Edition that centers in increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of government spending in the sector of agriculture.

FARMERS in Western Visayas region are urged to adapt to climate-resilient farming. (DA-6)

“We welcome its recommendations in ramping up efficiency and effectiveness of government spending in the sector,” said Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban during the PEU launch and forum, where he served as keynote speaker, on Wednesday, Dec. 7.

As one of several measures in his development strategy, Panganiban continued that the report is in line with the directives of President and concurrent DA Sec. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to strengthen fiscal management for the agriculture sector.

“It is hoped that this will contribute to our efforts on rebuilding and restructuring the food value chains to address the root cause of the issues that have long hampered our sector’s growth,” he said.

The most recent PEU took into account the challenges and policies required to achieve agriculture productivity and food security in the medium and long terms, as well as the financial and functional devolution brought on by the Mandanas ruling.

“The efficient use of public funds for public investments will help address the structural constraints of the sector, and deliver better extension services, stronger value chain system, and improved business climate for agri-food system,” said the PEU.

Its policy recommendations include, among other things, focusing on diversification, investing in extension services, scaling up climate smart agriculture policies and programs, and improving budget priority and process.

Acknowledging the need to rebuild better and more resiliently, Panganiban stated that the DA will continue to innovate and work double time.

According to Panganiban, the agriculture department’s National Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Plan (NAFMIP) serves as the directional plan to transform the country’s food systems. Its policy directions consider the shift from a single-commodity to multi-commodity planning approach, promotion of clustering and consolidation for economies of scale, enhancing the value chain, and climate resiliency.

“The DA will continue to embark in transforming and modernizing its ways and means in order to better serve the agriculture and fishery sector and contribute to the grand goal of a food-secured nation by empowering farmers and fishers to increase their productivity and profitability,” he vowed.

The PEU, a World Bank biannual publication, summarizes key economic and social developments, significant policy changes, and the evolution of external conditions. As such, it addresses issues ranging from macroeconomic management to financial market dynamics, as well as the complex challenges of poverty reduction and social development.