By Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza, Reporter
PRESIDENT-ELECT Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. on Monday mentioned he would take over the Agriculture division to deal with the “severe” issues dealing with the sector.
He additionally mentioned he would enable open-pit mining operations so long as these don’t hurt the setting.
At a press briefing at his marketing campaign headquarters, Mr. Marcos warned of rising meals costs and shortages within the subsequent quarters as a result of exterior elements which are affecting the availability of meals and feeds all over the world.
“For agriculture, I feel the issue is extreme sufficient that I’ve determined to tackle the portfolio of secretary of Agriculture a minimum of for now,” he mentioned. “Not less than till we are able to reorganize the Division of Agriculture (DA) in a means that it may be prepared for the years to return.”
Agriculture contributes a few tenth to the gross home product (GDP) and a fourth of jobs within the nation.
Agricultural output shrank by an annual 0.3% within the first quarter, as fisheries, livestock and crop manufacturing declined. Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar had attributed the decrease manufacturing to the spike in oil and fertilizer costs after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February.
Mr. Marcos mentioned he would give attention to boosting meals manufacturing amid rising meals protectionism all over the world.
“You’ll have famous that Thailand and Vietnam, for instance, one among our fundamental sources of imported rice, have determined to ban their rice exports a minimum of for now. We have now to compensate for that by hopefully rising manufacturing right here within the Philippines,” he mentioned.
Mr. Marcos mentioned it’s essential for the president to take over the DA “so issues can transfer shortly” in response to world developments.
“We have now to plan in a extra thorough style as an alternative of simply responding. I’ve requested DTI, NEDA, DoF and DBM to begin to make financial forecasts on what it’s we expect we now have to face for the remainder of this yr so we are able to put together… There could also be some emergency state of affairs particularly in regard to meals provide,” he mentioned.
This isn’t the primary time a sitting president has taken over a division. Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo additionally held a Cupboard submit throughout her time period, main the Protection division from November 2006 to February 2007.
The Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) welcomed Mr. Marcos’ plan to move the DA.
“Since profitable the presidency, we now have pushed for the president to imagine the submit as DA secretary given the dimensions of destruction of the native agriculture sector within the final three years,” the group, which has opposed the federal government’s export insurance policies, mentioned in an announcement.
“We consider that solely the president can jumpstart the gargantuan process of rehabilitating native agriculture from the carnage created by these on the helm of the DA these previous years,” it added.
In the meantime, Mr. Marcos mentioned he desires to make sure that the Philippines can have “clear mining.”
“We have now to view mining, pure assets as a nationwide treasure which may also help the Philippines. It’s for us to make sure that mining operations within the nation are environmentally impartial,” he mentioned.
“I can not consider that right here within the Philippines, we can not monitor and regulate the mining business sufficiently in order that we are able to have clear mining,” he added.
Economists have been urging the federal government to make sure that it will get a fair proportion in mining initiatives, which they mentioned could possibly be used to fund extra social packages.
In 2021, the federal government lifted a four-year ban on new open-pit mines, gaining the ire of activists and economists who’ve been saying that the business has not produced a significant variety of jobs.
Mr. Marcos additionally rejected calls to droop the excise tax on oil merchandise, saying he would give attention to serving to these “in want.”
“Those that have the means, they’ll afford to pay. Those that are at risk of dropping their livelihoods, they need to be our focus,” he mentioned.
Gas retailers are elevating gasoline costs by P0.80 per liter and diesel costs by P3.10 per liter on Tuesday.
As of June 14, pump costs have gone up by P28.70 per liter for gasoline and P41.15 for diesel because the begin of 2022, information from the Division of Power confirmed.