President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. vowed to boost the country’s food items output when he requires over as concurrent secretary of the Division of Agriculture.
Marcos mentioned that the rice export ban presently imposed by Thailand and Vietnam, the Philippines’ main sources of imported rice, has remaining the nation with no option but to increase its individual production of the vital staple.
“You could have mentioned that Thailand [and] Vietnam for example… our most important sources of imported rice, have decided to ban rice exports, at the very least for now. So, we have to compensate for that by ideally increasing output below in the Philippines,” Marcos claimed.
“There are a lot of priorities that we have to attend to at the same time, initial will be to try out to increase production as we occur to the planting period, the harvest period of time soon after the rainy year, throughout, right before, and soon after the wet period. Ideally, we can counteract some of the boosts in prices,” he additional.
Marcos announced Monday that he would be assuming the portfolio of secretary of Agriculture due to the severity of the looming meals crisis and the ongoing enhance in foods charges.
He extra that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has afflicted the country’s food offer “in a extremely serious way.”
Marcos explained he would restructure the division to make it far more responsive to the existing international condition in phrases of food items offer.
He added this would involve the return of companies and corporations beneath the section, these types of as the Countrywide Foods Authority (NFA), the Food Terminal Inc. (FTI), and Kadiwa, to their initial mandates and capabilities.
“Many of the agencies have adjusted their features in excess of the yrs and probably it’s time to return them [to their original purpose],” he explained.
Marcos said there may possibly be a will need to overview the P10-billion Rice Competitiveness Improvement Fund designed by Republic Act (RA) 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Legislation.
He explained in watch of the need to have to enhance regional foods output, that fund must possibly be elevated.
“When we see the accounting for rice tariffication, the P10-billion is in some cases unspent so it can however be utilised,” he added.
Beneath the legislation, P10 billion will be appropriated each and every year for the future six yrs for systems in rice-manufacturing places, these as procurement of rice farm machinery like tillers, tractors, seeders, threshers, rice planters, harvesters, irrigation pumps, tiny solar irrigation, reapers, driers, and millers.
Other programs also furnished for are rice seed growth, propagation, and marketing expanded rice credit history help and rice extension expert services.
Senators welcomed Marcos’s move to think the Agriculture portfolio, indicating it reveals his commitment to averting a food items crisis.
“It might not be the close-all and be-all remedy to all the challenges besetting the agricultural sector together with the food stuff crisis, but for confident conclusion making will be seriously fast and methods can be carried out and carried out right away simply because orders will right occur from the President,” incoming Senator JV. Ejercito said.
Senator Juan Edgardo Angara explained it is the president’s prerogative since all Cabinet secretaries are his brokers in any case.
“This suggests food items and agriculture are major priorities of President-elect BBM specifically now that the rates of foodstuff are constantly increasing even in the world-wide industry,” he claimed, referring to the President by his campaign initials.
Senator Francis Escudero noted that by getting this portfolio, Marcos can minimize a large amount of purple tape and it routinely places. at the disposal of the Department and the Agriculture all the assets of the authorities.
Also on Tuesday, the Agricultural Sector Alliance of the Philippines (AGAP) bash-record claimed Marcos need to launch a food items protection summit to address importation and smuggling difficulties.
The group’s initially nominee, Nicanor Briones, said he disagreed with the existing administration’s policy of import liberalization and urged the DA to alternatively concentration on the root result in of food insecurity.