Good news for farmers: They may no longer have to pay for irrigation fees as the government will shoulder the costs, once a bill filed by Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson is passed into law.
Lacson’s Senate Bill 43, dubbed the “Free Irrigation Services Act,” is one of his legislative priorities in the 17th Congress, and seeks to help many farmers still recovering from droughts caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon.
“Irrigation is a very basic governmental function that can very easily be shouldered by the State. It does not have to be passed on to farmers. Considering that it is a key factor in increasing agricultural productivity, having the State subsidize it will go a long way in ensuring adequate food supply and the early recovery of the principal means of livelihood of people in disaster-hit and poverty-stricken areas. Thus, it is the intention of this bill to revoke the ISF (Irrigation Service Fees) and to make irrigation services free for all farmers,” he said.