Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) senatorial candidate Win Gatchalian today welcomed the endorsement of the ABONO Party-list even as he vowed to push for measures benefiting farmers.
“I am very grateful for the strong support for my candidacy by ABONO Party-list and the constituents they represent– our farmers. It is a truly an honor to be endorsed by one of the main sectors in the country,” said Gatchalian.
Should he win a seat in the Senate, Gatchalian vowed to pursue measures that would protect the interests of poor farmers. “Agriculture is the key to inclusive growth, so pushing for such measures would also benefit the whole economy,”he said.
ABONO Party-List has expressed its full support for Gatchalian’s senatorial bid, saying the Valenzuela City congressman has been a staunch supporter of pro-farmer policies especially in these hard times as the country continues to suffer from prolonged dry spell.
“Throughout this year’s El Niño drought, Win Gatchalian has been a constant voice advocating for more sustainable agriculture policies and direct government aid to help our farmers survive and thrive in the face of mounting challenges facing our agriculture sector due to climate change,” said ABONO in a statement of endorsement.
ABONO added: ”As our peer in the House of Representatives, we know Win Gatchalian to be a dedicated and intelligent legislator who has helped us fight for pro-farmer policies, such as, expanded access to agricultural education and skills training, and free access to irrigation and other essential soft infrastructure to protect farmers, their produce and livestock.”
ABONO Party-list has also lauded Gatchalian for his strong opposition against the smuggling of agricultural products that has brought further hardships to farmers.
“Win Gatchalian has also been an outspoken critic against the government’s failure to stop agricultural smuggling and its adverse effects on agri prices. Win is a true friend and ally of the Filipino farmer who can serve as our voice in the Senate. Kay Win Gatchalian, Win na Win ang magsasaka!,” said ABONO.
Gatchalian had earlier expressed support for the removal of all irrigation fees for poor farmers and said this will be one of his priority legislation should he win a Senate seat in the coming May 9 elections.
The country’s 11 million farmers, many of which are small landholders tilling an average of 2.5 hectares, are expected to benefit from the free irrigation services under the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), according to Gatchalian.
“Its about time that our small farmers be given full subsidy in terms of irrigation services as this will enable them increase their income. The NIA, meanwhile, should increase the coverage and improve the quality of public irrigation services as this will better prepare farmers for El Nino,” explained Gatchalian. (Monica Cantilero)