Huge increase in proposed 2023 agri sector budget explained

Following the turnover of the 2023 National Expenditure Program (NEP) to the House of Representatives, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah Pangandaman explained the huge increase made to the proposed 2023 agriculture sector budget.

DBM Secretary Amenah Pangandaman (Photo from House of Representatives Media Bureau)

READ: House receives 2023 National Budget Proposal

“The agriculture sector will receive a substantial increase of 39.2 percent year-on-year with a total proposed budget of P184.1-billion for the strengthening of its banner food programs and irrigation services to ensure food security and agricultural productivity,” Pangandaman said during a press conference on Monday, Aug. 22.

This was mere minutes after the House leadership received a copy of the NEP from DBM officials.

“To achieve this, higher allocations are proposed for the National Rice Program with P30.5 billion to help maintain the price of rice at affordable levels and for the production of other vital, agricultural commodities,” she explained.

A total of P184.1 billion for the agriculture sector was proposed under the 2023 NEP. The DBM chief revealed that this was a 39.2 percent increase from the enacted budget of P132.2 billion under the 2022 General Appropriations Act (GAA).

"The higher allocation is because we provided enough funds for the rice program, corn program, fisheries program, and even the high value crops development program,” Pangandaman told reporters.

She also added that the budget allocated to infrastructural development would complement the developments in the agricultural sector through lowered logistical and transport costs.

“This will be complemented by the construction and rehabilitation of farm-to-market roads (P13.1 billion), improvement of irrigation networks (P29.5 billion) and the provision of subsidies and credit access to farmers and fisherfolk (P2.8 billion),”

“We will also support shovel-ready infrastructure programs (P1.2 trillion) under the Build, Better, More Program to propel growth in agriculture, trade, and tourism sectors and eventually reduce transport and logistics costs,” she concluded.