Several agricultural groups have urged local government units to prioritize production support and post-harvest investments for agriculture and fisheries in 2022.
This, as the sector anticipates the full implementation of the Mandanas ruling that enabled the provision of funds to LGUs from the “collections of national taxes”.
The Mandanas ruling states that national taxes for inclusion in the base of the just share of LGUs shall include the national internal revenue taxes enumerated in Section 21 of the National Internal Revenue Code, as amended, collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs, tariff and customs duties collected by the BOC, 50 percent of the value-added taxes collected in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and 30 percent of all other national taxes collected in ARMM.
On Tuesday, the Philippine Council of Agriculture estimated that the ruling will lead to a P234.6 billion expected increase in the National Tax Allotment of LGUs by FY 2022 based on computations by the Department of Finance.
As such, food security advocate Tugon Kabuhayan urged LGUs to focus on the use of additional resources for farmers and fisherfolk to increase their production by investing more in post-harvest facilities.
“We suggest that 10 percent of the funds or P23.4 billion be allocated for post-harvest facilities annually, especially in the countryside where most production is happening. The allocation can be adjusted once LGUs reach the desired production and post-harvest losses targets,” it said.
Increase production coupled with lower post-harvest losses will not only benefit the countryside. Done properly, metropolitan cities will share the benefit in terms of availability of fresh, nutritious food at affordable prices, it added.
The group said local producers are more than capable of addressing the country’s need for accessible and affordable food, they just need facilities and systems that support production and post-harvest facilities that ensure that whatever is produced is not wasted.*PNA