Senator Cynthia Villar speaks in front of the farmers and fisherfolks in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur during the Agriculture and Balikatan Day, one of the activities during the Vigan Longganisa Fiesta 2020. (JMQ/PIA Ilocos Sur)
VIGAN CITY, Jan. 22 (PIA) -- Senator Cynthia Villar expressed her gratitude to the farmers and fisherfolks in the country during the distribution of agricultural machinery here.
Villar said, "Kung wala kayo, walang kakainin ang pamilyang Pilipino."
Speaking in front of the farmers' associations and fisherfolk federations of Vigan City, the senator said, "Huwag niyong mamaliitin ang inyong kontribusyon na ginagampanan dahil napakaimportante ninyo, nakasalalay sa inyo at ang inyong mga bukirin ang food security ng ating bansa."
As the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, Villar guaranteed that this year, they will continue to pass new bills that are beneficial for the Filipino farmers and fishermen.
She encouraged farm owners to turn their farms into farm schools or learning sites or training centers as the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has been very supportive in the establishment of farm schools in different parts of the country.
She stressed how the Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016 or Republic Act 10816 helps farmers to increase their income by providing alternative sources of income.
Provision of the law is to turn farms to farm schools, wherein if trainers teach 25 students a month, TESDA will pay them Php100,000 as salary per month. The government gave Php1-billion to TESDA as payment to the trainers so that farmers and fisherfolk can study for free.
Farm owners or interested farmers/fisherfolk can also study at Villar SIPAG farm schools in Cavite and Bulacan that were built for Filipinos to avail of free agricultural-related cases, something that they can teach in their hometowns once they finish the course.
"Teaching modern agricultural practices and technology mechanization to our farmers and fisherfolks will boost their knowledge in agriculture and technology so that we can vie to competitors especially to the countries in ASEAN," Villar said.
Lastly, she assured that the national government down to the local government will continue to pursue better and innovative ways to help the farmers and fisherfolk to improve agriculture and fishery industries in the country. (JCR/JND/JMQ/PIA Ilocos Sur)