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Press Release - Bong Go echoes call to support marginalized farmers as he expresses his support for DAR's proposed budget and programs

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, vice-chair of the Senate Finance Committee and member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, expressed his support for the Department of Agrarian Reform's (DAR) budget for fiscal year 2024 particularly its programs that can help marginalized farmers.

The support was officially noted on record by Senator Cynthia Villar in a Senate Finance Subcommittee hearing held on Thursday, October 19.

Reiterating his advocacy, Go emphasized the government's responsibility towards prioritizing the welfare of the underprivileged especially in rural areas.

"Unahin natin ang mga mahihirap. Ibigay natin sa mga mahihirap ang lupa na dapat sa kanila at suportahan natin sila upang maging produktibo sila sa kanilang kabuhayan," Go said.

The senator reflected on the agrarian reform accomplishments during former president Rodrigo Duterte's tenure, where a substantial number of hectares of land were distributed to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) through the Certificate of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) distribution.

"Our government should focus on supporting our small-scale farmers because they are the ones who make our food supply possible. It's not only about us not needing to import from other countries. It's about recognizing and supporting our local farmers and agrarian reform beneficiaries to earn a living and contribute towards food security," said Go.

Go has been supportive of legislative efforts aimed at bolstering the agricultural sector. One of his significant contributions is the co-authorship of Republic Act No. 11901, which expanded the agriculture, fisheries, and rural development financing system.

This law, according to Go, will provide rural communities, especially farmers, fisherfolk, and agri-based workers, with better access to credit, thereby enhancing their welfare, competitiveness, and productivity.

In addition to this, Go highlighted the importance of RA 11953 or the New Agrarian Emancipation Act, signed by President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. He took great pride in co-sponsoring and co-authoring the measure, marking a significant step towards empowering agrarian reform