June 17, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

PBBM: All-out support to Filipino farmers under ‘Bagong Pilipinas’

PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. assured Filipino farmers on Saturday of the government’s support to ensure the development of the Philippine agriculture amid the challenges brought about by both man-made and natural disasters, including the El Niño phenomenon.

In his speech during the ceremonial palay harvesting and distribution of various assistance in Barangay Mandili, Candaba, Pampanga, President Marcos said that the government is always on the back of the farmers to support all of their endeavors.

“Kaya’t asahan ninyo na sasamahan kayo ng ating pamahalaan sa inyong mga pagsisikap nang makamit ninyo ang lahat ng inyong mithiin at mga pangarap,” President Marcos told farmers during the event.

“Ang ating pagtutulungan na mapaunlad ang ating sektor ng agrikultura ay isa lamang sa mga pangunahing hakbang tungo sa pagbuo ng isang Bagong Pilipinas – kung saan walang nagugutom at ang lahat ng masigabong kumikilos para sa mas masaganang kinabukasan,” he added.

President Marcos also led the distribution of various assistance such as hauling trucks, seeds, financial assistance, among others to over 12,000 farmers and ten farmers’ cooperatives and association in Barangay Mandili, Candaba, Pampanga.

The chief executive lauded the Filipino farmers for their hard work and perseverance after the Philippines registered a record-high production volume of 20.06 million metric tons (MT) of palay in 2023, which is 1.5 percent higher than the 19.76 million MT rice production in 2022.

“Ito ay nagpapakita ng 1.5 %, isa’t kalahating porsyento ng pagtaas mula sa nakaraang taon o dagdag na mahigit na 300,000 tonelada ng palay ang naidagdag sa nakaraang taon. Ang pamamahagi ng mas magandang uri ng binhi at pagbibigay ng malawakang suporta sa pataba ay siyang nagbunga ng positibong resulta na ito,” the President quipped.

“[Sumasalamin] po ito sa walang sawang dedikasyon ng ating mga magsasaka at sa matagumpay na pagpapaganap ng mga programa ng Kagawaran ng Pagsasaka,” he added.

President Marcos underscored that some parts of the Philippines are now experiencing the effects of the El Niño phenomenon, which is expected to last until June this year amid all the developments in the agriculture sector.

But he assured that the administration has already laid out several programs to mitigate the effects of the El Niño phenomenon and to support the affected farmers to ensure that their harvest will not be affected.

“Gayunpaman, hindi tayo natatakot; sa halip, buong loob at lakas at sama-sama nating haharapin ang El Niño. Patuloy nating palakasin at pag-ibayuhin ang mga tulong para sa mga apektadong lugar at mamamayan,” President Marcos said.

“Ilan sa mga hakbang na ginagawa natin ngayon ay ang paglikha ng mga binhing umaayon sa paba-bagong klima, gayun din ang pagsasagawa ng climate risk assessments para sa mga nasalantang pamayanan,” he added.

President Marcos said that the administration will also continue to push for infrastructure development, information dissemination, and strengthen the water irrigation system through the Philippine Solar-irrigation Project and Small-scale Irrigation Projects.

The President also emphasized that the government has allotted PhP31 billion under the National Rice Program to intensify the administration’s programs such as the production support, extension services, research and development, and irrigation network services.

He added that the government will also utilize the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund to strengthen the agriculture sector and to assist farmers while a huge chunk of the fund will be used for the distribution of tillers, tractors, seeders, threshers, rice planters, reapers, driers, among others.

The chief executive also emphasized that the government has allotted funds to provide additional cash assistance to farmers, which is led by the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines.

President Marcos said that farmers will also be introduced to modern farming through the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech), Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), Agricultural Training Institute, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

“Sa aming palagay, sa mga hakbang na ito, naniniwala naman kami na ginagamit natin hindi lamang ang pag-angat ng antas ng buhay ng mga magsasaka, kundi pati na rin ang modernisasyon ng sektor ng agrikultura,” President Marcos told farmers.

“Sa mga ating mga minamahal na magsasaka, ang inyong dedikasyon, sakripisyo, at sipag ay tunay na nagsilbing inspirasyon sa ating lahat.. Ang inyong mga kamay na masigasig na nagbubungkal ng lupang inyong sinasaka ang siyang nagbibigay ng buhay at sigla sa ating sambayanan,” he added.

“At ang bawat butil ng palay na inyong itatanim ay siyang tutubo at magsisilbing haligi ng ating mas matatag at mas masaganang bukas.”

Present during the ceremonial harvesting of palay were Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. and Assistant Secretary Arnel De Mesa along with Pampanga 4th District Representative Anna York Bondoc and some local officials.