We looked at the position and track record of senatorial candidates on the following policy issues in inclusive and sustainable rural development:
Republic Act 11203: Rice Tariffication Law (RTL) – RA 11203 was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on February 14 and took effect on March 5, 2019. The law removed government limits, called quantitative restrictions (QRs) on rice importation. The law also created the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), amounting to P10 billion annually for six years, that aimed to assist rice farmers with seeds, farm machinery, credit, and technical extension.
HB 100158: National Land Use Act (NLUA) – Proposed bill to ensure the rational and sustainable use of our land and our physical resources. The bill aims to harmonize sector-specific land-use policies and institutionalize land use planning.
RA 11524: Coconut Farmer and Industry Act; Coconut Levy Trust Fund (CFITF) – RA 11524 took effect on March 13, 2021, and was signed by President Rodrigo Dutertes on February 26, 2021. The law seeks to long-time promise to return the 76-billion peso worth of levies collected from coconut farmers. RA 11524 provides that the distribution of the coco levy funds be facilitated by the multi-agency Trust Fund Committee through government programs and projects to revitalize the coconut industry and support coconut farmers.
Creation of the Department of Ocean, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DOFAR) – The proposed bill seeks to separate the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) as a line bureau of the Department of Agriculture into a department to address pressing challenges on overfishing, high poverty incidence in fishing communities, declining fish catch, and deteriorating fishery habitats that are persistent issues confronted by our fishery sector.
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