Full-time DA leader needed, Bongbong Marcos’ role criticized – solon
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) urgently needs a “full-time secretary” to tackle issues facing the rural sector and food security.
On Tuesday, House Deputy Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro criticized President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s continued stay as DA chief.
Castro lamented that Marcos, as DA head, only offered “band-aid solutions” such as importation to deal with problems in the supply of rice, sugar, onion, and other key agricultural products that merely shoved farmers further into poverty. She claimed importers of farm products continued to amass wealth under Marcos’ leadership at the DA.
For the lawmaker, Marcos should not be holding on to his concurrent position as DA Secretary because he allegedly lacks understanding and solutions to the country’s real agricultural and agrarian problems.
“The DA needs a full-time secretary who truly understands and knows the solutions to the agricultural as well as agrarian problems of the country. Unfortunately, the remedies being implemented by the DA under Marcos are mostly band-aid solutions and entail the importation of key agricultural products like rice, sugar, onions, and the like,” Castro said.
“Unless genuine agrarian reform coupled with the full support of the government to local farmers is implemented as well as a stop to land use conversion, our agricultural sector will die even if Pres. Marcos Jr. stays there up to 2028,” she added.
Castro likewise called for the immediate passage of the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill and Rice Industry Development Act, emphasizing that these proposed measures, which will mandate free redistribution of lands and provision of subsidies to farmers, will guarantee the revival of Philippine agriculture.
“We call on the government to prioritize the interests of our farmers and the agricultural sector. We need a Secretary of Agriculture who will truly champion the rights and welfare of our farmers and not just implement band-aid solutions to the problems that they are facing,” concluded Castro.