Is the Aquino administration prepared for loss of jobs of an estimated one million rural workers within the next six months as a result of El Niño?
Vice President Jejomar Binay does not think so, saying the administration is resorting to “band-aid” solutions to the problem instead of drawing up more concrete measures to protect the workers to be affected by the weather phenomenon.
According to him, the budget set aside for emergency employment programs will only benefit 70,000 rural workers.
In the first half of the year, Binay said on Friday, agricultural losses have been pegged at P2.19 billion by the Department of Agriculture.
Yet the administration, he added, has apparently a wrong sense of priorities, as it set aside P13 billion for irrigation in Metro Manila.
A candidate for President in the 2016 elections, he vowed to improve infrastructure and give additional incentives to farmers to increase productivity in the agricultural sector.
To entice more investors, income and corporate taxes should be lowered, and some economic provisions of the Constitution should be amended, among them the restriction against foreign ownership of certain businesses. This is a way to stimulate competition and improve quality and lower prices of products and services],” he said.