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Lacson-Sotto agri sector plan: Gov’t to directly buy 50% of output

AT LEAST half of the country’s local agricultural output will be directly purchased by the government under a Lacson-Sotto administration, Senate President and vice-presidential aspirant Vicente C. Sotto III said over the weekend.

“One of our programs for the farmers and fisherfolk is that 50% of their output will be bought by the government directly at their own price without the middleman,” said Mr. Sotto III in a mix of English and Filipino during a public forum.

Mr. Sotto is running with Senator Panfilo M. Lacson as Partido Reporma’s standard bearer.

By cutting out the middlemen in the process, it would help keep food prices competitive in the local markets without affecting the potential earnings of farmers and fishermen, he added.

Mr. Sotto noted that this concept was put forward by Partido Reporma Secretary-General and Davao del Norte Governor Edwin I. Jubahib, who has been implementing a similar program in his province.

This plan, Mr. Sotto said, has already been incorporated into their flagship program, Budget Reform Advocacy for Village Empowerment (BRAVE).

The BRAVE program aims to rationalize the budget process wherein local government units would have more influence over the National Expenditure Program.

One of its goals is to provide support to the agricultural industry, which remains vulnerable to economic pressures and natural calamities, Mr. Sotto said. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan

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