MANILA -- Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol on Monday urged local officials to support his proposal for Congress to grant President Rodrigo Duterte emergency powers to assist farmers after typhoons.
Typhoon Ompong last week left at least P1.8 billion in agricultural damage across Luzon. The same area in September lost P26.7 billion worth of crops and livestock due to typhoon Rosita, the Department of Agriculture earlier said.
Without emergency powers for Duterte, local officials have to ask for assistance from the DA, which will validate the request and endorse it to the budget department, that would require another round of verification before a recommendation is made to the Office of the President, said Piñol.
Farmers could miss the planting season and fail to replace their damaged crops due to delays in the release of the government assistance, he said.
"Kailangan bilisan iyung interventions at iyung ating Pangulo ay dapat mabigyan ng elbow room na makapaggamit ng pondo ng gobyerno," Piñol told radio DZMM.
(The interventions should be fast-tracked and our President should be given elbow room to use government funds.)
"Ang aking mensahe sa mga local officials ay suportahan ang aking panukala na hingin sa Kongreso na bigyan ng emergency powers ang Pangulong Duterte kasi sunod-sunod ang trahedyang tumama sa atin e," he added.
(I ask local officials to support my proposal for Congress to give emergency powers to President Duterte because of the consecutive tragedies that hit our country.)
DZMM, 5 October 2018