MANILA, Philippines – An individual who promised to lower the price of rice to P20 per kilogram held his first meeting as concurrent secretary of the Division of Agriculture on July 4, the first Monday of the second Marcos administration.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. arrived on the Bureau of Soils and Water Administration (BSWM) in Quezon Metropolis on Monday morning to meet with the division’s staff and officers who, for the first time, might have the nation’s Chief Govt as their division head.
Later that day, he held his first authorities committee meeting with the officers and visited the Office of the Secretary on the DA’s most necessary office, not faraway from the BSWM.
Marcos launched with him prime Palace officers – Govt Secretary Vic Rodriguez and Presidential Administration Staff Secretary Naida Angping – indicating an intention to harmonize inside workings and insurance coverage insurance policies inside the agriculture division with the workflows and staff work of Malacañang the place Marcos holds office.
True ample, all through the meeting, he requested agriculture officers to ship him drafts of presidency orders they need and even spoke of asking Congress for a supplemental value vary for the division.
“Tingnan natin kung may makuha pa tayo (Let’s see if we are going to nonetheless get some additional),” he talked about in a video launched by the Palace.
Meals security and extreme value of meals had been acknowledged by Marcos as most likely essentially the most pressing points he wished to deal with as agriculture chief.
“We have got to handle the upcoming meals catastrophe that it seems will most likely be visiting us inside the subsequent two quarters. After we glance all around the world, everybody appears to be preparing for it. We’re already at disadvantageous place by the use of meals present,” he suggested the room.
“Even with the problem of pork and hen, now we’ve to imagine very laborious that folk have satisfactory meals, main, on the price they’re going to afford,” he added.
One conclusion reached by the group, talked about Marcos, was the need to reinforce manufacturing of staple crops and commodities, particularly rice and corn.
He appeared to welcome one recommendation from Duterte’s agriculture secretary, William Dar, to implement packages to increase per hectare rice manufacturing, which Dar named “Masagana 150” and “Masagana 200,” impressed from the controversial rice program of Marcos’ private father, the deposed president Ferdinand E. Marcos.
“Masagana 150, Masagana 200, these are good plans that now we’ve to position into place, let’s operationalize them already,” he talked about.
In an interview with Rappler, Dar had outlined the two packages. Masagana 150 would set a aim of seven.5 metric tons of inbred rice manufacturing per hectare, just about double the current 4.5 MT frequent yield. Masagana 200 items a aim, this time for hybrid rice, of 10 tons per hectare.
Masagana 99, within the meantime, was a program utilized by the older Marcos inside the Nineteen Seventies which aimed to double rice harvests using a higher-yielding rice choice. It succeeded briefly nevertheless was stopped after an unsustainable credit score rating entry program left rural banks bankrupt and smallholder farmers in debt.”
Additional imprecise was Marcos’ directive to “improve security of rice and corn.” The four-minute video of the meeting launched to most people was solely a portion of the meeting and did not embrace remarks made by completely different officers.
It was unclear if Marcos was pertaining to trade-related security measures, notably in delicate of how liberalizing commerce in agricultural commodities has hurt Filipino farmers whose crops normally usually are not as competitively priced as imported selections.
Marcos took up one trade-related drawback all through the meeting: the doable ratification of the Regional Full Monetary Partnership (RCEP).
RCEP is a free commerce settlement between Southeast Asian nations similar to the Philippines and and Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea.
The President requested for a “temporary memo” on the “execs and cons” of ratifying the commerce deal that can further open up the Philippine financial system to imported gadgets nevertheless might also suggest larger entry of Philippine gadgets to markets abroad.
Aside from addressing fast concerns, Marcos moreover spoke of long-term initiatives like crafting a “multi-year plan” to reconstruct value chains of agricultural commodities.
“We have got to reconstruct our value chain starting from our scientists, researchers, all one of the simplest ways to the Kadiwa retailer. We have got to remake that model. We have got an ideal model that was from the sooner administration. It’s a very completely completely different world in the marketplace, the experience is completely completely different,” talked about Marcos.
Kadiwa outlets are a DA initiative via which native governments prepare such outlets that give fishers and farmers direct entry to prospects. Native governments received grants to rearrange the outlets in strategic areas.
The Kadiwa retailer concept was first utilized all through his father’s presidency, primarily to deal with extreme prices of agricultural commodities. It was resurrected all through the Estrada administration, then as soon as extra in 2019 beneath Duterte.
Whereas Marcos talked about the DA mustn’t draw again from crafting plans as a lot as 12 months 2030 on account of six years may not be ample, he pedaled once more to supply assurances that “we are going to do this in decrease than six years.”
DA officers present on the meeting included Undersecretary of Attached Companies Rodolfo Vicerra; Nationwide Meals Authority Administrator Judy Carol Dansal; Undersecretary for Guidelines Zamzamin Ampatuan; Undersecretary for Evaluation, Innovation, Teaching and Extension Assist Leocadio Sebastian; Undersecretary for Shopper and Political Affairs Kristine Evangelista; and some assistant secretaries.
Manufacturing and prices
“Agriculture goes to be a important and elementary part of our monetary transformation,” talked about Marcos in his inaugural deal with last June 30, setting extreme expectations that the neglected sector will lastly get the attention and budgetary assist it needs beneath the model new president.
Nevertheless for Marcos to essentially make a dent on the lives of Filipinos through his work with the division, he ought to set his eyes on a literal gut drawback for residents: the hovering value of meals.
One most important driver of dearer meals is the Ukraine-Russia warfare mountaineering of petroleum prices. Costlier petroleum means elevated value of fertilizer utilized by farmers to supply necessary crops like rice and corn. This has a domino influence on completely different meals on account of corn is used as feeds for livestock and poultry so as soon as they get pricey, pork and hen get pricier too.
“The biggest and most urgent drawback going via President/Secretary Bongbong Marcos inside the agriculture sector is learn the way to convey shopper meals costs to ranges similar to prospects in neighboring nations, whereas enabling farmers to increase productiveness as a way to be aggressive with farmers in, say, Thailand or Vietnam,” Bruce Tolentino, an economist who sits as a member of Bangko Sentral’s monetary board, suggested Rappler.
Tolentino had moreover been deputy director frequent on the Worldwide Rice Evaluation Institute from 2012 to 2018.
Choices floated by economists embrace giving out fertilizer subsidies to farmers, one factor carried out by the sooner administration. Some economists, nonetheless, moreover check out additional measures that solely a President can implement: further slashing or eradicating altogether tariffs and non-tariff obstacles on imported corn, pork, hen, and comparable gadgets.
Nevertheless such strikes have to be accompanied by funds aimed towards serving to Filipino farmers harvest additional and earn additional, talked about Tolentino.
One such effort to liberalize agricultural commerce, the rice tariffication regulation, is one different concern of Marcos. On Monday, he talked about he wishes a “reassessment” of the regulation and the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund it created for farmers.
The regulation is de facto due for a periodic evaluation. Lawmakers have expressed openness to amending it, after outcry from farmers’ groups. Former agriculture secretary Dar had moreover talked about he would anticipate the evaluation sooner than passing judgement on whether or not or not the regulation have to be repealed, amended, or retained.
One different technique to reinforce manufacturing of farmers, talked about Dar then, was to widen the safety of irrigation applications since rice and plenty of completely different crops are relying on water. With the NIA’s poor effectivity spanning quite a few administrations, he urged tapping the private sector for big-ticket irrigation works. – MR