IATF Approves Additional P31-B To Increase Country's Food Sufficiency Level

This needs to be approved by President Duterte first.

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The Department of Agriculture's (DA) request for a P31-billion budget to fund the "Plant, Plant, Plant Program", which has been approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF). This program helps to increase the Philippines' food adequacy level amid the global pandemic caused by COVID-19.

As reported by the Department of Agriculture, the P31 billion for the Plant, Plant, Plant Program (also known as Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra sa COVID-19) will be endorsed by the IATF-EID but it is yet to be approved by President Duterte. The budget breakdown is as follows:

P7.5B - rise resiliency project

P7B - play procurement fund of the National Food Authority

P3B - expanded SURE Aid and recovery project

P3B - expanded agriculture insurance project

P3B - social amelioration for farmers and farmworkers

P1B - upscaling of KADIWA ni Ani at Kita

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P1B - integrated livestock and corn resiliency project

P1B - coconut-based diversification project

P1B - revitalized gulayan project

P500M - urban agriculture project

P500M - acquisition of protective personal equipment

P300M- corn for food project

P200M - information, education, and communications project.

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The task force has also approved the reactivation of the Local Price Coordination Councils (LPCCs). The LPCCs are tasked to monitor food supply and protect consumers from undue price spikes of agri-fishery accommodations, processed products, and medicines. The LPCCs can also issue warnings and apprehend violators who are profiteering while the whole nation is under a state of calamity.

Agriculture secretary William Dar says, "In all, we have enough food for the next two months. We are enhancing needed measures to ensure food security in strong cooperation with all sectors, most particularly with all provincial governors, city and municipal mayors, and barangay leaders in ensuring the unhampered transport of agricultural products and farm and fishery inputs, including the movement of farmers, fishers, and workers in the food value chain."

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