Masaganang Agrikultura, Maunlad na Ekonomiya!

DA backs Senate’s proposed bills to boost Phl livestock industry 

Author: DA Press Office | 26 January 2022

Agriculture Secretary William Dar supports the passage of Senate Bill 139 or the Philippine Livestock Industry Development Act and four other bills geared to boost the livestock sector.

“We support and welcome these bills that specifically focus on the development and competitiveness of the livestock sector. We thank Senator Cynthia Villar and the other senators for pushing these bills to address the various challenges besetting the sector today,” Secretary Dar said.

Senator Villar chairs the Senate committees on agriculture and food, and agrarian reform.

“Given the right budget allocation and support from government, the livestock industry will bounce back, contributing its share in total agriculture sector growth,” he added.

Senate Bill No. 139, authored mainly by Senators Villar and Nancy Binay, seeks to strengthen the livestock industry to promote its development, protection and regulatory functions. The bill covers dairy and native animals, and poultry. It aims to establish a livestock development fund to secure yearly government support.

Senator Villar said that the livestock sector has received limited attention and development assistance from the government for decades now.

“The livestock sector… should be able to guarantee food security and reduce poverty in the countryside by giving better income and jobs to farmers and their families,” she said.

The proposed livestock development and competitiveness bill was based on a six-month study commissioned by government to study the competitiveness of the country’s livestock sector. It benchmarked the competitiveness of the Philippines’ livestock, poultry, and dairy industries against its neighboring Southeast Asian countries, and looked into strategic means for policy-makers to improve domestic production and lower meat prices.

“With the serious challenge confronting the sector today, we perceive that this bill is very timely and critical to the overall and rapid development of the industry,” said DA undersecretary for livestock Dr. William Medrano, during the virtual public hearing on the proposed five livestock development bills, held January 13, 2022.

Medrano also reiterated DA’s support in the plowing back of duties and tariffs collected from imported meat and dairy products to make the sector more competitive, similar to the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) as provided for under the rice tariffication law (RTL) or RA 11203.

Under the proposed livestock bill, two-pronged programs will be established aimed at improving the competitiveness of livestock and corn sectors.

The other four proposed livestock development bills presented during the public hearing were:

  • Senate Bill No. 821 – Philippine Native Animal Development Act (authored by Sen. Sonny Angara);
  • Senate Bill No. 1048 – Providing for Direct Financial Assistance to Backyard Livestock Raisers (authored by Sen. Ralph Recto);
  • Senate Bill No. 1297 – Livestock-Related Disease Diagnostic Laboratory Act (authored by Sen. Lito Lapid); and
  • Senate Bill No. 2176 – Affordable Pork Act (authored by Sen. Francis Pangilinan).

The DA, through Usec. Medrano, presented its position on the various bills to develop and strengthen the livestock industry.

“The proposed legislations are most welcome as these would provide the much-needed fund support for the development and modernization of the country’s livestock and poultry sector, and support farmers directly affected by such importations,” Medrano said. ### (Rita dela Cruz, DA StratComms)

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