President Rodrigo Duterte has signed the Sagip Saka Act to help increase farmers’ and fishermen’s income and reach their full potential.
Duterte signed Republic Act 11321 on April 17, 2019 yet reporters only got a copy on Monday (May 27).
The new law establishes the “Farmers and Fisherfolk Enterprise Development Program” which refers to “the comprehensive set of objectives, targets, and holistic approach in promoting the establishment of enterprises involving agricultural and fishery products.”
The program shall be integrated and be made consistent with the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Plan, and the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Development Plan.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) shall be the implementing agency of the program, which shall tap the assistance, expertise and resources of the following agencies such as the Philippine Coconut Authority, National Dairy Authority, Bureau of Soils and Water Management, Philippine Center for Post-Harvest Development and Mechanization, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Agriculture Training Institute, Agricultural Credit and Policy Council, and the Bureau of Agricultural Research.
The law also entails the creation of the “Farmers and Fisherfolk Enterprise Development Council” to oversee the proper implementation of the program.
It shall be composed of (a) the Secretary of the DA or his duly authorized representative who is at least an Undersecretary, who shall be the Chair (b), a representative of the Department of Trade and Industry, who shall likewise at least be an Undersecretary; (c) a representative of the Department of the Interior and Local Government; (d) a representative of the Department of Finance; (e) a representative of the Cooperative Development Authority; (f) a representative of a national organization of farmers cooperatives or association; (g) a representative of a national organization of fisherfolk cooperatives or association; and (h) two representatives from the agriculture, food, restaurant and business sectors.
Within 60 days from the date of effectivity of the Act, the DA, in consultation with the DTI and the DOF shall formulate the rules and regulations for the proper implementation of this Act.
The law was passed by the House of Representatives as House Bill 8857 on January 28, 2019 and wasadopted by the Senate of the Philippines as an amendment to Senate Bill 1281 on February 6, 2019.
It will take effect 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation. (Azer Parrocha/PNA)