Gov't Adopts Measures to Cushion Impact of EVAT on Agriculture

Article excerpt

Byline: EDU H. LOPEZ

The government has drawn up measures and strategies to cushion the impact of Expanded Value-Added Tax (EVAT) law on the prices of agricultural products.

One of the measures is the fast-tracking of development programs to accelerate the accessibility of products and increase productivity.

Agriculture and fishery products are exempted from EVAT. The implementation of the law is expected to generate some P80 billion for the government annually.

About half of the taxes generated by the Local Government Units (LGUs) will be allocated in the farm-to-market roads projects.

With the active participation of private ship owners through the promotion of roll-on roll-off (RoRo) transport system, a total of 243 ports will be accessed by farmers and fishermen to bring their products to the markets, Panganiban said.

For the upland farmers, a tramline technology has been implemented in four remote areas of the country.

The tramline system program will be under the Bureau of Post-harvest Research and Extension (BPHRE) in Buguias and Atok in Benguet province, Alimodian in Iloilo and Carranglan in Nueva Ecija.

It was designed to eliminate manual hauling of farmers' produce using cables and pulleys to transport products in the mountainous areas to increase farmers' productivity and income.

The agriculture department has prepared mitigating measures to lessen the impact in the agri-fisheries industry.

These measures include productivity enhancement, efficient logistics and distribution, direct market access and trading layers reduction, input reduction and substitution and policy interventions.

Other measures include improve genetic materials of crops, livestock, poultry and fishery products to ensure high yields and intensified disease prevention mechanism. …