Advertisement

DA angling for Treasury bond issue to fund agriculture

Font Size

BoT BTr treasury
BW FILE PHOTO

AGRICULTURE SECRETARY Emmanuel F. Piñol said that he will discuss with the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) the possibility of issuing bonds for the benefit of the agriculture sector.

“When I referred this to Secretary (Carlos G.) Dominguez last year, he advised me to write the National Treasurer. Since the National Treasurer is effectively under the DoF (Department of Finance), I would assume they’re already talking about this,” Mr. Piñol told reporters last Jan. 15.

“The money of local banks not being used for agriculture is going to waste,” Mr. Piñol said.

According to Mr. Piñol, the issuance of bonds is in line with the aim of the government to focus on the agriculture sector, as well as address the five areas within the industry to help boost its growth.

He said the government’s economic team has indicated a new focus on agriculture, which needs alternative sources of funding with banks reluctant to lend to the sector.

The areas of focus are: completion of 13,000 kilometers of farm-to-market roads, intensification of solar-powered irrigation efforts to cover 500,000 hectares over the next three years, establishment of post-harvest facilities to minimize losses and boost productivity; investment in logistics and transportation facilities especially for the movement of goods from the remote regions to urban centers, and greater focus on the Easy Access Credit Program.

“The MANCOM (Management Committee) identified the key focus areas for 2019 and set a growth target of between 2.5% to 3.5% for the year,” Mr. Piñol said in an earlier Facebook post, adding that the committee noted that “DA missed most of its target production levels for the year, except for poultry which exceeded growth projections.” — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio