A BILL filed at the House of Representatives will require agencies and local governments to buy food directly from farmers for their relief and feeding programs.

ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Eric G. Yap filed House Bill 10512, which grants priority to farmers in procuring food for relief operations.

“The government must establish a system which supports the purchase and consumption of produce of our own farmers,” he said in the bill’s explanatory note.

The measure requires government agencies to exhaust the supply of produce available locally “at the most reasonable and practicable cost” before resorting to imports.

Local governments should prioritize products harvested within their jurisdictions to lower transportation and other logistical costs.

These provisions do not apply if produce is found to be unfit for human consumption, is insufficient or inferior in quality, or is more expensive than foreign products. — Russell Louis C. Ku