Philippine gov't earmarks subsidy for farming, fishing sectors

09:46, May 02, 2011      

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The Philippine government has earmarked 4.23 billion pesos (98.4 million U.S. dollars) rice subsidy program for farmers and fishermen that could augment their incomes during the lean months following the harvest season, president Benigno Aquino III said Sunday.

Aquino made the announcement in his speech marking Labor Day celebrations held for various labor groups in the Malacanang presidential palace.

Aquino said the subsidy is part of his administration's efforts to address the ever increasing prices of fuel and food as well as to provide employment opportunities to the people.

The subsidy, either in cash or in the form of rice, will be used to pay fishermen and fishermen in exchange for their services such as cleaning and preparing the farms for the next planting season or other community works, such as cleaning the environment, Aquino said.

"They (farmers and fisherfolks) are earning and at the same time the communities are benefiting," he said.

Last month, the Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) noted in a report that production shortfalls caused by bad weather along with the weak U.S. dollar, high oil prices and subsequent export bans by several key food producing countries have caused much of the upward global price pressure since last June, with double digit increases seen in the prices of wheat, corn, sugar, edible oils, dairy products and meat. Rice prices are likely to continue their uptrend as the effects of La Nina persist, prompting consumers to seek less costly and less nutritious substitutes.

Source: Xinhua
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