President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Monday said his administration will work with Congress to push several legislations for the development of agriculture and fishery sectors as the government focuses on ensuring food security and modernizing the agriculture sector.
In his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Batasang Pambansa, President Marcos said the country’s Fisheries Code must be revisited to incorporate and strengthen science-based analysis and determination of fishing areas to protect the interests of fisherfolk and fisheries and aquatic resources.
“To this end, we will seek the support of Congress to amend the Code to guarantee sustainable development of our fisheries sector in harmony with environmental balance,” Marcos said.
“Ipinag-bubuklod natin ang mga magsasaka, sa pama-magitan ng farm and fisheries clustering at mga livestock multiplier farms. Tatlong daang clusters na ang ating natukoy, na binubuo ng halos siyam na raang kooperatiba, at may lawak na mahigit dalawang-daang libong ektarya ng bukirin,” he added.
And to speed up the creation of cooperatives, Marcos said the administration needs the cooperation of Congress to amend the Cooperative Code.
To improve agricultural productivity, Marcos said the government has been educating farmers for the adoption and use of modern technologies and techniques.
These include the use of bio-fertilizers, Marcos said, noting that with balanced fertilizer strategy, farmers’ productivity could be improved without much reliance on imported fertilizers.
Also part of government strategy to increase agricultural production includes providing farmers with modern farm machineries, vegetable, corn, palay, as well as coconut seeds.
And as a response to the increases in the prices of fuel and fertilizer, the government extended
fuel and fertilizer discount vouchers to farmers. Fertilizers donated by China were immediately distributed to farmers for the next cropping season.
The government is also fighting smuggling, hoarding and price manipulation of agricultural products, he said.
“Hinahabol at ihahabla natin sila. Sadyang hindi tama ang kanilang gawain, at hindi rin ito tugma sa ating magandang layunin. Pandaraya ang kanilang ginagawa. Napapahamak hindi lamang ang mga magsasaka, kundi tayo na ring mga mamimili,” Marcos said.
“Kaya hindi natin papayagan ang ganitong kalakaran. Bilang na ang mga araw ng mga smugglers at hoarders na ‘yan.”
The administration is also working to build more agricultural infrastructures such as farm-to-market roads, irrigation systems, cold storage facilities and other infrastructures to boost farm yield, he said.
“Sa tulong ng Kongreso, nakapag-patayo tayo ng dalawampu’t apat na multi-species hatcheries upang maparami ang produksyon ng mga isda,” said the President, adding there’s also increased surveillance against pests to livestock and poultry to prevent the spread of diseases.
“Tayo rin ay naghahanda sa El Niño na nagbabadyang tumama sa mga darating na buwan. Nagsimula na tayong maghanda ng mga buffer stocks at mga kagamitang patubig.” PND