Congressman seeks yearly P1-B worth of farm-to-market roads

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 02 2022 09:23 PM | Updated as of Aug 03 2022 05:19 AM

Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves is seeking P1-billion worth of farm-to-market roads for each agricultural district annually and the conversion of cogonal lands into upland rice farms.

"Matagal ko na itong sinusulong na dapat mabigyang pansin yung mga farm-to-market roads natin ngunit magkano ang natatanggap ng bawat distrito bawat taon? Each district receives about P20 million in farm-to market-road allocations every year. Ilang kilometro ang 20 million? 2 kilometro. Ano gagawin mo sa 2 kilometro na daan na pagkatapos ng 2 kilometro na semento gatuhod naman ang putik," Teves said in privilege speech.

"Dati pa alam ko na marami tayong unused appropriation every year. Ang proposal ko sana one billion (pesos), per agricultural district per year. Kung ginawa natin yun, 3 taon lang parang spider web na yung. Daan natin na semento at ang paggalaw ng produkto natin mabilis na at magiging mura yung production cost," Teves added.

"Every year our unused appropriation is always over P200 billion. Mayroon tayong 300 na congressmen more or less but I think yung agricultural districts, sa estimate ko lang nasa mga 150 lang distrito. Palagay pa natin 200. That's only about P150 to P200 billion in allocation. Kung yung unused appropriation pinagawan natin ng daan? Di ang dami nating natulungan di ba?" he said.

Teves also explained why he thinks turning cogonal lands into upland rice farms will be the way to go in terms of rice self sufficiency.

"Why am I going for upland rice because the production cost of upland rice is half the the production cost of paddy rice. So kung gusto natin maging mababa ang per kilo ng bigas, we should go upland," he said.

The Marcos Jr. administration has not yet submitted its 2023 national budget proposal to the House of Representatives.