The country’s provincial governors, and city and municipal mayors have expressed strong support to the Department of Agriculture (DA), under the leadership of Secretary William Dar, in the implementation of the Duterte administration’s national programs to further develop and modernize the country’s agri-fishery sector amid the challenging times.
In a manifesto of support, the local chief executives (LCEs) — belonging to the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) and Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) — said, they are determined to help transform Philippine agriculture into a dynamic and high-growth sector that will pave the way to reducing poverty in the countryside by providing small farmers, fishers, and other ruralfolk more livelihood and income-generating opportunities.
The LCEs were represented by their respective leaders: LPP National Chair and ULAP National President Quirino Governor Dakila Carlo Cua; and LPP National President and ULAP National Chair Marinduque Governor Presbitero Velasco, Jr.
“The agriculture and fishery sector is undoubtedly among the major drivers of the country’s economic growth,” said Governors Cua and Velasco, as the sector was able to register positive growth last year despite the eruption of Taal Volcano, Covid-19 pandemic, continued incidence of the African swine fever (ASF), and a series of strong typhoons.
They said that the LLP and ULAP remain steadfast in their commitment to support the DA’s programs and initiatives such as the “One DA” framework and its 12 key strategies to reboot and ‘grow’ the agri-fishery sector, eradicate ASF, and stabilize food supplies and prices.
They added that the LPP and ULAP have great faith that the DA, in close coordination with the LGUs, will be able to successfully implement local agricultural projects and initiatives as part of the national banner programs, and subsequently achieve a modest 2.5 percent growth this year.
With the DA spearheading the government’s economic recovery efforts, the LLP and ULAP believe that together they can attain inclusive, sustainable growth and development, and significantly reduce poverty incidence in the countryside.
Governors Cua and Velasco said they can provide the much-needed coordination with their members to ensure, in particular, the unhampered inter-island movement of pork and other agricultural and fishery products.
For instance, they said the LLP and ULAP are now closely working with the private sector, veterinary groups, academe, hog raisers, and traders for the successful re-population program of the Department in ASF-free areas or so-called “green zones,” and ensure the availability of pork in other areas of the country.
“Indeed, the LGUs play a vital role in ensuring the stringent implementation of the ‘Bantay ASF sa Barangay’ or BABay ASF to effectively control and prevent further spread of the disease in the country,” the two leaders said.
“We are with Secretary Dar and ‘One DA’ family in achieving their immediate and medium-term strategies to stabilize food supply and prices of major commodities, like pork, chicken, and fish, as well as vegetables and fruits,” they added.
“We are truly confident that the DA will engage, coordinate, and assist provinces, and highly urbanized and component cities and municipalities, and provide them the necessary technical and financial assistance to collectively achieve the twin goals of ‘Masaganang Ani at Mataas ng Kita,’ and attain our common vision of a food-secure and resilient Philippines with empowered and prosperous farmers and fisherfolk,” governors Cua and Velasco concluded