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Bongbong Marcos visits DA, vows to bolster food production

The Department of Agriculture in Quezon City. STORY: Marcos visits DA, vows to bolster food production

The Department of Agriculture in Quezon City (Photo from its website)

MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. visited the office of the Department of Agriculture (DA) on Monday for the first time since he assumed the highest office in the land last week.

More than a week before his inauguration as the 17th president of the Philippines, Marcos announced he would take on the portfolio of secretary of agriculture, a move hugely welcomed by many agricultural groups nationwide.

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He said he intended to reorganize the agency and bolster the country’s food production.

The president said certain offices in the DA were underutilized and have to be “retooled” for the post-pandemic era. Undertaking the reorganization, he said this would make the agency ready for the coming years.

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He would also strive to increase agricultural production and subsequently, counteract the increase in food prices. That way, he said the department would become “more responsive to the local situation” in terms of food supply.

“The other priority which is equally important, although it is a long-term process, is the restructuring of the DA. As I have mentioned many times before, many of the agencies have changed their function over the years and maybe it’s time to return them,” Marcos said earlier.

Absent at flag-raising

As the new agriculture chief, Marcos was absent in the first flag-raising ceremony of the DA under his term.

But as DA chief, he led the closed-door executive committee meeting at the Bureau of Soils and Water Management Convention Hall in Quezon City.

Reporters were barred from roaming around the DA premises, taking photos or videos, and were asked to stay in the press office for the duration of the so-called closed-door meeting.

Marcos pointed out that the first order of business for the department is to help the country tide through the global food crisis so that Filipino consumers can buy food items at affordable prices.

“We have to attend to the impending food crisis that it seems it will be visiting us in the next two quarters,” he said.

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“We can increase our production of rice and corn at least. And hopefully, I don’t know if we have enough time to solve the problem of livestock and poultry sectors.” He likewise asked the agency to reassess the rice tariffication law and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

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TAGS: Department of Agriculture, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Food Production
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