January 5, 2011
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, urges the government to focus on generating jobs and opportunities from within the country’s agriculture and fisheries sector. Pangilinan makes the call in anticipation of the effects on the country’s unemployment rate of the influx of repatriated OFWs from the Middle East, as well as a US Congress bill discouraging American companies from outsourcing their business operations.
“The government needs to shift its focus back to the agriculture and fisheries sector. We are in the midst of a shifting paradigm wherein world economies are slowly realizing that capital and industrial enterprises are unpredictable and can be unsustainable. Much like what the US Congress is doing to protect its people, we must focus on creating opportunities from within the country, and the agri sector holds the most promise and potential.”
Despite the number of calamities that have hit the country, Pangilinan remains optimistic that the new year will bring vast improvements to the Philippines’ agriculture sector.
With the biggest budget allocation among all agencies for 2012, the Department of Agriculture, Pangilinan says, now has the resources to come up with a roadmap that will set the course for the long-term development of the agriculture and fisheries sector.
“Focusing efforts towards modernizing Philippine agriculture and fisheries will also solve our food security issues. We should tap the full potential of these sectors as we have all the resources we need to succeed. The bounty of our seas and vast arable lands are natural treasures that most countries would like to have, and we must be able to maximize these resources sustainably. It will be a pity if we continue to do so little with everything that we have.”