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Robredo-Pangilinan tandem plans to double agriculture budget


THE AGRICULTURE department’s budget will be doubled should Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” G. Robredo win as president in next year’s election, her running mate said on Tuesday.

The plan is to increase the Department of Agriculture’s annual allocation over a period of six years from about 2% to 4% of the total national budget by the end of 2028, Senator Francis N. Pangilinan, who is running for vice president, told an online forum.

“It is time to fix the insecurity of our fellowmen in talks of food,” Mr. Pangilinan said in Filipino.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), he added, will also be taken out of the department and placed under the president’s office with a Cabinet-level secretary in charge in preparation for its conversion into a separate department.

The vision is to become an “aqua-culture giant of the world,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ms. Robredo said her camp will create a people-led council to unify the efforts of various civic groups campaigning for her presidential bid in next year’s polls.

In a taped message aired on Tuesday, Ms. Robredo said a so-called “People’s Council” would consolidate efforts from different sectors and provinces for “a clear and organized movement.”

Ms. Robredo made the statement after she viewed some of the campaign materials created by her supporters from different groups and provinces

The people’s council will also prevent the duplication of campaign programs initiated by her volunteers, she added. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan and Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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