Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. today pushed for the condonation of the P12 billion loan taken by farmers from the National Irrigation Administration saying irrigation services should be given to farmers for free.
Marcos said government officials should be reminded that they are running the government to serve the people and not for profit. “The government is not a corporation created for profit. It exists to give service to the people, not for money,” he said.
He said the NIA farmers’ irrigation loan is a classic example of the government’s diverted path to “earning” profits from its original course of helping the people improve their lives.
He said it is lamentable that farmers, who hardly get government support, are still saddled being with a P12- billion outstanding debt to NIA.
Marcos pointed out that farmers should not have been charged in the first place by the NIA because it is an agency of the government tasked to give irrigation service.
“We should forget the P12 billon loan because there is no way farmers could pay for that. What the government should do is think how it can help our farmers and not earn profit from their situation,” he said.
Marcos pointed out that farmers in other countries get a wide array of subsidy and services from their government to enable them to increase productivity and live decent lives. “Here, farmers are practically left on their own and then we still charge for them for services that the government is duty-bound to give in the first place,” he stated.
He said it’s lamentable that the government is charging the farmers for irrigation service despite the fact that they consist 70 percent of the total number of the country’s poor.
“That’s public service. That’s the job of the government, not for profit, not to make money,” he said.