Private backing targets farm sector

A proposed bill seeks to provide additional tax incentives on gifts and donations to accredited farmers and fisherfolk groups to help spur farm output.

House Bill 2418, which amends Section 12 of Republic Act 11321, or the “Sagip Saka Act” signed into law in 2019, invites the private sector to help and support agricultural workers.

“Considering the present need to increase support to agribusinesses with the unprecedented challenges they face, this measure seeks to further encourage the private sector to donate to accredited farmers and fisherfolk enterprises under the Farmers and Fisherfolk Enterprise Program by declaring that donors of real and personal properties to these enterprises,” Agri party-list Rep. Wilbert Lee said.

This, he said, is in addition to being exempted from the payment of donor’s tax, shall be permitted to claim those donations as allowable deductions from the gross income.

“To convince them further to help and donate, the allowable deductions on the gross income shall be made equivalent to 150 percent of the value of the donation which shall be based on the acquisition cost, fair market value, or zonal value, whichever is higher,” he added.

To recall, the creation of the Farmers and Fisherfolk Enterprise Development Program integrates the different programs of the Department of Agriculture to support farmers and fisherfolk cooperatives and enterprises aimed at optimizing their business operations and providing them with more opportunities for markets and product development.

Inputs for agriculture

The government’s support to farmers and fisherfolks is through agricultural and fishery inputs, provision of production/processing/storage facilities, technical assistance including training for productivity and business management, grant of equipment and machinery, the direct purchase of agricultural and fishery products without the need of public bidding, direct access to markets, and partnership with the private sector.

Lee said the partnership with the private sector can be done through marketing contracts, technology transfer, financial and organizational capability enhancement, and donation of equipment, and other real or personal properties to the accredited farmers and fisherfolk enterprises.

House Bill 2418 will support deserving accredited farmers and fisherfolk enterprises that have undergone strict selection criteria under the Farmers and Fisherfolk Enterprise Development Program.

“When the private sector is encouraged and motivated to help businesses or initiatives for farmers and fishermen, more support will come, which will give them more confidence to increase their production and income,” he said

He added that more Filipinos and the entire country will benefit from this because it will allow for cheaper food prices and will also greatly contribute to achieving the food security we hope for.

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