Negros Occidental has been chosen as the pilot area in Western Visayas for the Department of Agriculture’s Provincial Agriculture and Fisheries Extension Systems (PAFES) that will get a financial boost from the Mandanas ruling.
In Negros Occidental, it will be known as Occidental Negros Agricultural Fisheries and Extension System (ONAFES).
Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, at the ONAFES management committee meeting at Acacia Hotel in Bacolod City, Thursday, June 10, said he welcomes the Mandanas ruling that will give the necessary boost to implement the province’s agricultural programs.
The Supreme Court’s (SC) Mandanas-Garcia ruling is expected to increase the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of LGUs by P234.4 billion to P1.8 trillion beginning in 2022.
The ruling will result in the rollout of more agriculture and fishery programs at the local government unit level, the Department of Agriculture said.
The 2018 SC ruling on the petitions of Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas and former Bataan Governor Enrique Garcia Jr. states that the IRA must come from two-fifths of the collections of all national taxes, including collections from import duties and other levies , on top of the BIR tax revenue.
The PAFES is an initiative of the DA in anticipation of the full implementation of the Mandanas ruling that will significantly boost the financial capabilities of LGUs to implement agriculture programs and projects.
Lacson, who welcomed the PAFES initiative, said when agriculture and fisheries are developed through proper innovation, “ we can begin to have not just food security but also food accessibility for every Filipino.”
This will provide the needed push to improve production, optimize income capacity and mitigate the debilitating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the agriculture sector, he said.
He also stressed the importance of enhancing the market potential of agricultural products.
Lacson said with the full devolution brought about by the Mandanas ruling the local governments are in a better position to cope and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.*