January 6, 2012
MANILA — Amid the influx of repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from the Middle East, Senator Francis Pangilinan renewed his call on Thursday to the government to maximize generating jobs and opportunities from within the country’s agriculture and fisheries sector.
“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,” Pangilinan said in a statement.
Pangilinan, chairman of the Senate committee on agriculture, said the United States Congress bill discouraging American companies from outsourcing their business operations is also expected to increase the number of the returning OFWs.
”Much like what the U.S. 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,” the lawmaker said.
Despite the number of calamities, including storm “Sendong,” that have hit the country, Pangilinan remained optimistic that the year 2012 would bring vast improvements to the Philippines’ agriculture sector.
With the biggest budget allocation among all agencies for 2012, Pangilinan said the Department of Agriculture 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,” Pangilinan said.
”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,” he added. (PNA)
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