Solon: DA can use QRF to address oversupply woes

By Wilnard Bacelonia

January 16, 2024, 5:28 pm

<p>Senator Imee Marcos during a consultation meeting in Bacolod City on Sept. 8, 2023. <em>(PNA file photo by Nanette L. Guadalquiver) </em></p>

Senator Imee Marcos during a consultation meeting in Bacolod City on Sept. 8, 2023. (PNA file photo by Nanette L. Guadalquiver) 

MANILA – The Department of Agriculture (DA) may use its quick response fund (QRF) to help farmers who are affected by oversupply and other issues, Senator Imee Marcos suggested on Tuesday.

Marcos said she heard about reports of oversupply of cabbages, including in her home province Ilocos Norte.

Onion farmers in Nueva Ecija province were also reported to have been affected by pests. 

"Baka hindi niya [DA Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr.] pa kabisado ‘yung quick response fund. Kapag nagkaroon ng emergency, pwede namang bumili [ng kanilang produkto] po, tumulong ang DA kahit papaano sa iba't ibang porma (Maybe he still does not know about the quick response fund. During emergency situations, DA can buy their products or help in various forms). They can give them subsidies, financial help, or buy back," Marcos said in a phone interview. 

Laurel said in Tuesday’s press conference at Malacañang Palace in Manila that the DA can provide farmers with seeds to replant, pesticides and other support.

Marcos agreed that farmers can replant but noted that utilizing the QRF would be better.

"Pwedeng magpa-replant ng iba pang gulay o iba pang kinakailangan. Pwede naman gawin ‘yun so siguro pwede naman gamitin ‘yung QRF na hindi na kinakailangang magkaroon pa ng bagyo o tsunami (Replanting of vegetables and others is doable. So, maybe the QRF can also be used without a typhoon or tsunami)" she said.

"Iba-ba na ang disaster ngayon. May market disaster din katulad sa repolyo (There are different disasters nowadays. There are also market disasters like now in cabbages)," Marcos added.

DA is one of the five government agencies approved with QRF, which consist of pre-disaster or standby funds.

Unlike the calamity fund, the QRF can be utilized without the recommendation of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council or the approval of the Office of the President, according to the guidelines of the Department of Budget and Management.

When the QRF gets depleted, the agency may request for replenishment. (PNA)