SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
20 November 2023 02:30:39 PM
The House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture and Food chaired by Rep. Wilfrido Mark Enverga (1st District, Quezon) met on Monday to listen to the briefing of the Department of Agriculture (DA) on the status of the country's sufficiency in rice, corn, livestock, poultry, vegetables, and other key commodities.
On behalf of Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, Rep. Enverga assured the DA, led by newly-appointed Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr., of the chamber’s full support.
“We have a common goal and that is to help and empower the Filipino farmers and fishers, and private sector in order to make food available, accessible, and affordable at all times,” he said, adding that the collective efforts of concerned agencies and all stakeholders would lead to the realization of the government’s programs and activities toward the modernization of the agriculture sector.
Secretary Laurel shared that the marching order of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was to increase the sector’s productivity, emphasizing that “this shall be the goal of the department with the invaluable help of our legislators.”
DA Assistant Secretary Arnel De Mesa reported that rice production in 2023 increased by 0.22 percent compared to the previous year. He cited that as of November 14, 2023, the country has a supply surplus of 2.98 million metric tons, which would last for 80 days.
Secretary Laurel assured lawmakers that the DA is doing its part to avoid a deficit in the supply of key commodities, especially with the holiday season nearing. He added that the DA would review the devolution of agricultural functions from the DA to local government units (LGUs). Deputy Speaker Antonio “Tonypet” Albano asked the Committee to prioritize bills on the re-nationalization of agricultural functions.