BACOLOD CITY—The Aquino administration, through the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Public Works and Highways, is planning to build 1,000 kilometers of farm-to-market roads to support agriculture in general and the sugar industry in particular.
In a speech read for him by Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, President Aquino told members of the Philippine Sugar Technologists Association that the era of wasted public funds is over and “we are seeing roads and bridges built for the benefit of our countrymen.”
“We are moving closer to realizing our vision of a strong and stable national agriculture,” said Mr. Aquino in the speech.
Rafael Coscolluela, head of the Confederation of Sugar Producers Associations, said his group discussed with Alcala the need for the DA to also support the antismuggling campaign and research to further develop the Philippine sugar industry.
Sugar industry leaders have been complaining about continued smuggling and have asked the President to remove top officials of the Bureau of Customs, starting with Commissioner Ruffy Biazon.
Alcala said the road projects would be his department’s priority.