SENATOR Francis “Kiko” N. Pangilinan, a vice-presidential candidate, on Monday filed a bill that seeks to increase incentives to private businesses participating in enterprise development programs for farmers and fisherfolk.

“Apart from the existing tax exemptions provided under the Sagip Saka Act, private-sector donations to accredited enterprises of farmers and fishermen may be deducted from the gross income of private businesses,” he said in Filipino in statement on Tuesday.

“This will be equivalent to 150% of the value of their donation,” he said.

Senate Bill 2509 seeks to amend Sagip Saka Act or Republic Act 11321 to provide additional tax incentives to gifts and donations given by the private sector to accredited farmers and fisherfolk enterprises under the Farmers and Fisherfolk Enterprise Development program of the agriculture department.

“The expected increase in active participation from the private sector in the Sagip Saka due to the new incentives will mean greater production and income of farmers and fishermen,” Mr. Pangilinan said.

Apart from incentives for the private sector, the Sagip Saka Act signed into law in 2019 authorizes all government offices and local government units to directly buy goods and produce from farmers and fisherfolk cooperatives, bypassing the complicated and time-consuming bidding process.

The passage of the proposed amendment will “channel much-needed capital into agriculture,” said the senator, since the private sector has the “deepest pockets” and can provide the farming and fisheries sectors with adequate support. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan

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