Senator Francis Pangilinan welcomed the signing of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Sagip Saka Act (RA 11321), citing the Department of Agriculture (DA) will now have a framework to effectively raise the incomes of farmers and fisherfolk.
“We have passed the law, and now that Agriculture Secretary William Dar signed the IRR, we can now focus on increasing farmers’ and fisherfolk’s incomes by developing and promoting their enterprises and directly linking them to private and government consumers,” Pangilinan said in a statement.
“Matagal na nating alam na ang pinaka-kalaban natin ay kahirapan. Kailangan na nating umpisahan ang pag-ahon sa kabuhayan ng mga nagpapakain sa atin. Dahil kapag maunlad ang mga magsasaka at mangingisda natin, maunlad ang buong Pilipinas (We have always known that poverty is our biggest problem. We need to start uplifting the lives of those who feed us. Because if the farmers and the fisherfolk are prosperous, the entire Philippines would be prosperous),” the former food security secretary and author of the law said.
The Sagip Saka Act was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on April 17, 2019.
The law establishes the “Farmers and Fisherfolk Enterprise Development Program” which refers to “the comprehensive set of objectives, targets, and holistic approach in promoting the establishment of enterprises involving agricultural and fishery products.”
The program shall be integrated and be made consistent with the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Plan, and the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Development Plan.
The law also entails the creation of the “Farmers and Fisherfolk Enterprise Development Council” to oversee the proper implementation of the program.
It shall be composed of representatives from DA and the Departments of Trade and Industry (DTI), Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Finance (DOF), as well as representatives from the Cooperative Development Authority, farmers’ and fisherfolk’s organizations, and agriculture/food/restaurant/business sector.
The law likewise provides that activities and funding support for Sagip Saka would be included in DA’s annual plan and budget proposal. (PNA)