Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar said on Tuesday that President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.’s decision to lead the DA is “a victory of the DA in rousing broad public support towards the sector’s rehabilitation and empowerment.”
“[President-elect Marcos, Jr’s] resolve to take the reins is a strong indication of this. We are confident this will augur an unprecedented ‘whole-of-government’ movement for the urgent attainment of food sovereignty in this time of crisis,” Dar said in a press briefing.
Dar noted that Marcos, Jr.’s decision to personally be at the helm of the DA is “the brand of ‘political will’” that he and the DA have been pushing for since August 2019.
Dar previously said that the agriculture secretary must not only be “strong and diligent,” but also a decisive leader who is pushing for reforms and putting a premium on economies of scale.
Jayson Cainglet, executive director of the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG), also welcomed Marcos as the incoming DA Chief.
In his interview in the Tutok Tulfo program, Cainglet said this would streamline the taking of actions for the benefit of farmers.
“Tinulak talaga ng industriya na hawakan muna ni President-elect Marcos ‘yung portfolio sa DA, para mas mabilis na aksyon, kasi po kung iba pang secretary magtatalo pa sa gabinete, bago pa makarating sa presidente.Mas maganda po ang panukala namin na siya na mismo ang humawak pansamantala para maibalik natin ‘yung sigla ng lokal na agrikultura [The industry pushed for the leadership of President-elect Marcos over the DA portfolio for speedier actions, because if we will have another secretary, there will still be debates before proposals reach the president’s office. Our advocacy of him leading the department is better to revitalize the local industry of agriculture.] ,” he said.
However, Cainglet expressed doubt about the feasibility of Marcos’ plan to provide the public with P20 per kilogram of rice at this time due to the oil price hike and cost of production inputs.
Cainglet further stressed the urgency to increase local production instead of resorting to importation.
Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency