President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. led on Friday the distribution of 1,200 sacks of rice to 1,200 Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the distribution of assistance from the Department of Agriculture (DA) to farmers in General Trias, Cavite.
The 1,200 sacks of rice distributed to 4Ps beneficiaries in General Trias are part of the 42,180 sacks of smuggled rice recently confiscated by the Bureau of Customs-Port of Zamboanga. The seized smuggled rice were eventually donated to DSWD after the importers failed to comply with the legal documents from the BOC.
In his speech, President Marcos, who is also the concurrent secretary of the DA, gave his assurance that the government is working hard to provide affordable staple food in the market, as he vowed to develop the agricultural sector in the Philippines.
“Ngayon, sa agrikultura, ang kailangan niyong gawin, ang kailangang gawin ng pamahalaan ay pagandahin ang produksyon, pagandahin ang ani at tulungan ang pag-process ng mga produkto ng agrikultura. Iyon ang isang panig doon sa problema na ‘yan,” President Marcos said, referring to agricultural problem in the country.
“Kailangan din namin na higpitan ang pagbantay sa illegal na importation ng lahat ng agri-products kaya’t ‘yan ang aming ginawa at binigyan ko ng instruction ang Bureau of Customs at sabi ko sa kanila imbestigahan niyo nang mabuti at hanapin ninyo ang mga illegal importers, ang mga smuggler ng bigas,” he added.
Before the distribution of rice to 4Ps beneficiaries, President Marcos also distributed PhP1,577,000 worth of various assistance from the DA to at least 217 farmers and other beneficiaries assembled at the General Trias Sports Park.
President Marcos distributed PhP557,000 worth of assistance under the Maunlad na Agrikultura sa Nayon Rice Production Program of the DA to 126 rice farmers led by Avelino Formes, president of the San Francisco Damayan, Kapit-Kamay Farmers Association.
The President also led the distribution of PhP106,000-worth of assistance under the Corn Production Program to five corn farmers led by Ronilo Ala, a member of the General Trias Upland Farmers Association.
President Marcos also distributed PhP810,000-worth of assistance under the High-Value Crops Development Program to 66 beneficiaries led by Roberto Bataclan, president of the Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Maggugulay ng Lungsod ng General Trias.
The chief executive also distributed PhP104,000 worth of assistance under DA’s National Urban and Peri-Urban Program to 20 Peri-Urban Practitioners led by Pedro Arendain, President of the Homeowners Associations.
The President earlier distributed the smuggled rice seized by the Bureau of Customs in Zamboanga City And Zamboanga Sibugay.
The sacks of 25-kg rice were part of the 42,180 sacks confiscated by the Bureau of Customs-Port of Zamboanga, which were subsequently donated to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.