Bill filed covering unorganized backyard livestock raisers

Bill filed covering unorganized backyard livestock raisers

Mar 2, 2023, 6:42 AM
Rose De La Cruz

Rose De La Cruz


Many livestock raisers have started out of the need to augment the family income by caring for livestock in their backyards. Thus they are unorganized but their outputs contribute a great deal to the food supply chain.

A bill amending the antiquated (65 year old) Republic Act 1578 the law consolidating all funds into the Philippine Livestock Promotion Fund, has been filed intending to cover those backyard livestock raisers who have not consolidated and thus not qualified for such funds by Rep. Alfred Delos Santos (Ang Probinsiyano partylist).

House Bill 3655 aims to provide direct financial assistance to backyard livestock raisers, who as yet cannot access agricultural credit funds but need them badly for their continued operation and maintenance of the farms.

In a press statement, Delos Santos said he commends the Department of Agriculture for fostering more organized backyard livestock raisers and farms. "But I noticed a gap which those who do not qualify or unable to qualify could fall through. There is no adequate safety net for the unorganized livestock raisers especially for recover from the African Swine Flu and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unorganized backyard raisers will be the hardest hit by any crisis that strikes the livestock and poultry industry, if only because they only have themselves to rely on. The solution I saw is through the Philippine Livestock Promotion Fund (“Fund”), he said.

After all, Section 1 of Republic Act No. 1578 (Consolidating Certain Funds into the ‘Philippine Livestock Promotion Fund) states that it must be used to conserving and developing the Philippine livestock industry as a whole and promoting maximum efficiency and economy in the service connected therewith.

However, since its passing in 1956, R.A. No. 1578 has not undergone the updating that would most benefit the raisers of our livestock, especially small-holders or backyard raisers. Congress must remedy this urgent need to update the 67-year-old law.

Under Section 2, which tackles the possible uses of the Fund, there is no mention of aiding or protecting the unique or specific interests of, backyard livestock raisers. And under Section 3, the Director of Animal Industry’s authority and power to make disbursements out of the Fund does not extend to giving direct financial assistance to backyard livestock raisers.

HB 3655 requires that backyard raisers who want to avail of direct financial assistance must register into the Department of Agriculture’s Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture. The bill also enables other local government units in the National Capital Region to ban slaughterhouses in their jurisdictions if they deem necessary. The current ban in RA 1578 applies only to the City of Manila. Let us remember that there was no Metro Manila way back in 1956 when RA 1578 became law.

HB 3655 also updates the slaughter fees from their 1956 rates stated in RA 1578 to:

a. For cattle, carabaos, buffaloes, horses, mules, and other animals of the bovine family [P0.90] P120.00 per head;

b. For swine [P0.60] P80.00 per head; and

c. For sheep, goats, and deer [P0.30] P40.00 per head.

Tags: #HB3655, #RepdelosSantos, #unorganizedbackyardraisers, #livestock

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