Posted 1 month ago
Senator Cynthia Villar is seeking the help of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to boost the country’s agricultural sector and ease the lives of farmers and fisherfolk.
Villar, chair of the Senate agriculture and food committee, said the PCG’s mandate not only in keeping maritime security but also in marine protection is tantamount to protecting the fisheries sector.
“There is a huge link between that and our agriculture sector and the future food security. We know that the fisheries sector is a big part of our agriculture sector,” said Villar during the launch of the PCG Auxiliary Eco Projects and Awarding of Fishery Livelihood Assistance in Subic Bay, Zambales recently.
Villar called for the strict enforcement of the Republic Act 10654 or the Act to Prevent, Deter, and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing. She said the arrest of illegal fishers would help the sector since the penalties will be allocated for fishery law enforcement and assistance to poor fisherfolk.
She likewise stressed that there should be a continuous push for legislative measures that would help improve farmers and fisher folks.
Villar said agriculture contributes over 10 percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, and fisheries, she added, gives between 15 to 18 percent of the profit in the agriculture sector. She, however, said farmers and fisherfolk still comprise majority or 40 percent of Filipinos living below the poverty line.