Isko pushes long-term agriculture funding
MANILA, Philippines — It is about time the government provided long-term funding for the country’s agriculture sector to ensure food security, Manila Mayor and presidential aspirant Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said on Friday.
“I think it’s high time for us to create a five- to 10-year funding,” Domagoso said at an online forum organized by the Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food Inc.
“In practice, if you have a five- to 10-year budget, the allotment to agriculture is automatic because there is a goal,” he said.
“I think I’m looking into that aspect wherein it’s high time for us to really invest in the medium- and long-term in terms of funding,” he added.
The mayor said the government should devote more time, invest more money and harness resources for this essential sector.
“All plans are great, especially if it is in the drawing board for our eyes to enjoy. But at the end of the day, without funds, without resources, pangarap pa rin na mananatili iyon (it will remain a dream),” he said.
Domagoso did not categorically say he was against agricultural imports.
Instead, what the government should do is boost food supply while establishing relations with other nations to strike a balance between local and imported food sources, he said.
That way, there is equal opportunity, a level-playing field and predictability in this sector, he added.
“With regard to our relationship abroad, we must coexist as a country and … have a very good reputation abroad, but first things first,” Domagoso said further.
He added, “Import[s] to me [are] not bad at all. It is all right with me to import products the country does not have or lacks.”
“We may continue to issue importation but on [the] premise [of] the proper data stating [that] we cannot provide [for] X number of months based on demand.”
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