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Department of Agriculture (DA) Region IV-CALABARZON laid out its Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 plans and budget proposal to the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the Agricultural and Fishery Councils (AFCs) in CALABARZON on March 1, 2021, held at Lipa Agricultural Research and Experiment Station Conference Hall in Lipa City, Batangas.

With Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar’s OneDA Holistic Approach towards a modern and industrialized agriculture sector, DA CALABARZON earmarked a P8.4-billion budget for its 12 key strategies. According to OIC-Regional Executive Director Vilma M. Dimaculangan, the regional office is planning to avail more farm supplies, services, and farm equipment and machinery to help in the development of agriculture in the region and to improve the lives of CALABARZON farmers.

“Sa tulong ng ating Kongreso, hangarin po natin na mas mapataas pa ang pondong ito nang sa gayon ay mas marami pa tayong matulungan na mga magsasaka tungo sa mas masaganang ani at mas mataas na kita,” Director Dimaculangan said.

Aside from the P8.4-billion budget proposal, the regional office has also put forward another P1.9-billion bid for the improvement and security of hog supply as the region recovers from the damages caused by the African Swine Fever (ASF).

The open forum was facilitated by Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation Division Chief Ms. Maria Ella Cecilla B. Obligado wherein she responded to comments and feedbacks from CSOs and AFCs on DA CALABARZON’s budget proposal allocation. “Magtulungan po tayo na magkaroon ng marami pang proposals upang tumaas ang tyansa natin sa mas mataas na budget at mas marami pa ang ating matulungan na mga magsasaka,” Ms. Obligado noted as she welcomed all the suggestions from the participants.

On the other hand, Regional Agricultural and Fishery Council (RAFC) Chairman Mr. Pedrito R. Kalaw raised his proposition to give 300 ASF-free sows per barangay to help hog raisers in the region increase the stock supply of hogs.

OIC-Assistant Regional Director for Research and Regulations Ms. Avelita M. Rosales, RAFC Executive Officer Engr. Abelardo R. Bragas, other DA CALABARZON staff, and some 67 representatives from CSOs and AFCs in the region participated in the meeting. ∙ (MAP, DA-RAFIS)