Department of Agriculture of the Republic of the Philippines

08/14/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/14/2019 02:02

Agri chief gives directions for a stronger Philippine agriculture

Author: DA-AFID | 14 August 2019

The Philippine agriculture will be strengthened and nurtured.

This is the commitment of Acting Secretary William D. Dar in his message during the turnover ceremony of Department of Agriculture (DA) leadership on August 13, 2019 at the Convention Hall of the Bureau of Soils and Water Management.

'One of the President Rodrigo Duterte's marching order to me is to boost agriculture growth. The other one is to do what is right with legal basis,' he said.

Under his stewardship, Dar vowed to carry out transparent programs that have following consultations with stakeholders.

'We will continue on the gains of the previous administrations, but we need to reboot the way we do things in the Department,' he said

'The regulations will be followed and implemented, and I enjoin everyone to provide efficient, effective, timely, swift, and quality service to our clienteles -with a smile,' he said.

The Secretary announced the establishment of an Anti-Corruption Group, to be handled by Undersecretary Waldo R. Carpio. The Group will to carry out mechanisms and systems against smugglers, who have been hindering rural development. As such, he stressed that he will not tolerate corruption in the Department.

'One strike and you're out,' he warned.

Part of his agenda for the first 100 days is the creation and implementation of a climate change and disaster risk program.

'We will enhance early warning systems and protocols in the far flung areas, with the help of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA),' he said.

Under Dar's leadership, DA will carry out preventive measures to address the continuous drop of rice price, the threat to African Swine Fever (ASF) damaging the P260 billion (B) hog industry, as well as armyworm infestation.

Dar announced that during the last cabinet meeting, the Department of Finance (DOF) and DA agreed to provide immediate assistance to farmers' that will be affected by the Rice Trade Liberalization Law (RTL). As such, he directed the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) to create a framework, which will expand the ongoing Survival and Recovery (SURE) program.

He also announced that his administration will pour in more resources to Mindanao as it is more endowed with good soil and weather.

During his speech, he asked the National Food Authority (NFA) to accelerate the buying price and processing of rice in the province, and requested the Agency for the list of NFA properties in the province and available areas which will be leased to provincial government units.

He also directed the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) and the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) to intensify quarantine measures.

'There is five-way test in success in programs. It should be productive, competitive, profitable, resilient and sustainable,' Dar said.

The DA is set to launch Food Summits, in collaboration with the local government units, all across the country.

'The results of these summits and consultation with private key stakeholders will be included in the strategic roadmaps that we will draft,' he explained.

The Secretary is also considering the re-establishment of the Secretary's Agriculture Expert Group (SAEG) to serve as technical advisory in the marketing farmers' and fisherfolk's produce. ### (Kristel Merle, Oda Rodriguez/DA-AFID)