The Duterte government will pay close attention to the agriculture and aquaculture industries, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar said.
Andanar gave the assurance to farmers and fisherfolk when he attended the 48th Gawad Saka awarding ceremony at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.
In his speech, the Communications chief guaranteed that the current administration is pushing for measures that are intended to improve the lives of Filipino farmers and fishermen.
“On behalf of our President, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, I am extending his heartfelt greetings to our farmers, fisherfolk, and our countrymen in the fields and the sea, in today’s celebration,” Andanar said.
“Our agriculture and aquaculture industries are increasingly given priority. Development programs are eliminating the inequality of past practices,” he said as he paid tribute to the invaluable contributions of workers in the agriculture sector to the country’s development.
The Gawad Saka Award is an annual search of the Department of Agriculture for outstanding achievers in agriculture and fisheries that represent various stakeholders of the community like farmers, fisherfolk, scientists, farm communities and organizations.
Andanar said the President and his government appreciate the local farmers and fishermen’s “heroism,” which reflects through their “hard work” to boost the Philippine economy.
“We honor you today, as the providers of our food. Our President salutes you. Our people applaud your industriousness, your resilience, your strength, and, above all, your heroism: because you dedicate your lives to a cause that is greater than the ordinary, the cause of providing food for all the people,” he said.
Expect rural growth
Acknowledging the gaps in the productivity of the agriculture and fisheries sector, Andanar said the government is taking initiatives to ensure growth in rural areas.
Andanar also renewed the government’s commitment to beef up the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), which seeks the redistribution of public and private agricultural lands to landless farmers and farmworkers, regardless of tenurial arrangement.
“It is also important that we reinforce the provisions of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program. Much of our farmers have been given their own lands,” Andanar said.
The PCOO chief said the President’s remaining years in office would be spent to expand agricultural land reforms in the country.
He noted that the administration’s bid for adequate food is the basic premise of achieving Duterte’s vision of providing “a life of comfort and dignity” to Filipinos. (PNA)