(File photo courtesy of PhilRice)

Puerto Princesa councilor Atty. Herbert Dilig is urging the city government to grant pesticide and fertilizer subsidies to farmers, claiming that they are losing money owing to increased agricultural supply prices.

He cited rising prices of petroleum products as one of the key reasons why agricultural supplies are getting more expensive and adding more burden to local farmers who are just recovering from recent natural disasters.

“Yesterday (Sunday), nasa Sta. Lourdes ako, and I talked to a group of farmers, particularly those who are working in the Busngol area. One of the problems that they relayed to this representation is the fact that while their output has grown, their income ironically has decreased. This is due to the fact na sobrang taas na (presyo) ng mga pesticides and fertilizers,” he said in a privilege speech during the city council’s regular session on Monday.

“So kung dati sila ay may production sila na P200, they spend P100 on fertilizers and pesticides. Now, while they may be producing P300 worth of harvest, they are spending like P250 on pesticides and fertilizers,” he added.

Dilig proposed that the city council should pass a resolution urging city mayor Lucilo Bayron to provide subsidies to qualified farmers. The matter was referred to the council’s Committee on Agriculture and Appropriation.

He added that local farmers have been instrumental in ensuring the city’s food security and their welfare should be prioritized by the city government.

“Nararamdaman natin ang kahalagahan ng pagsasaka at pagiging self-sufficient ng ating lugar sa pag-produce ng pagkain nitong pandemiya. Na-realize din natin na bagama’t ang pangunahing pinagkakakitaan ng lungsod ay turismo, kapag nawala ang turismo, ay hirap na hirap tayo. During this pandemic, having realized na kailangan nating maging self-sufficient, kailangan nating palakasin nang husto ang sector ng agrikultura,” he added.

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is a senior reporter for Palawan News who covers politics, education, environment, tourism, and human interest stories. She loves watching Netflix, reading literary fiction, and listens to serial fiction podcasts. Her favorite color is blue.