Reelectionist Senator Sonny Angara is urging government to direct more energy and resources towards improving the agriculture sector to help the country achieve inclusive growth and food security.
“If we invest more on revitalizing the agriculture sector, we provide not only food stability for the country’s growing population, but also jobs and livelihoods for millions of Filipinos dependent on agriculture,” Angara said.
The seasoned legislator issued the statement while in Urdaneta City, Pangasinan, where he attended a campaign rally organized by Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) which is endorsing his candidacy. HNP is an influential regional political party chaired by presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Pangasinan has a land area of 536,819 hectares, 44 percent of which is devoted to agricultural production. The major crops in the province are rice, mangoes, corn and sugar cane.
Aside from infrastructure development, the veteran lawmaker said the nation needs nothing short of an “agricultural revolution” which the Duterte administration can spearhead alongside its “Build, Build, Build” initiative.
“Where there’s build, build, build, there should also be ‘grow, grow, grow’; ‘plant, plant, plant’ or even ‘fish, fish, fish.'”
An agricultural revolution, the senator said, is necessary to help revive the agriculture sector and improve the lives of impoverished farmers and fisher folk, who belong to 60 percent of the country’s poorest.
“Where there’s build, build, build, there should also be ‘grow, grow, grow’; ‘plant, plant, plant’ or even ‘fish, fish, fish,'” he emphasized.
Citing government records, Angara said agriculture remains important to Philippine economy even though its relative contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) has been declining over the years.
From 1998 to 2009, the sector accounted for 13 to 14 percent of the total GDP. This steadily declined to 10 percent in 2017.
“With an improved and revitalized agriculture sector, we can lift millions from poverty and hunger.”
By investing heavily in agriculture, Angara said government would be able to make the country’s economic growth more inclusive or felt by a larger population.
“With an improved and revitalized agriculture sector, we can lift millions from poverty and hunger,” Angara stressed.