The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) expressed support for the appeal of some Senators for President Bongbong Marcos Jr. to appoint a full-time and competent agriculture secretary. In a Senate hearing this week, Senators Koko Pimentel and Grace Poe said having a full-time agriculture secretary will help address the agricultural crisis.
“Neverending problems within the agriculture sector, particularly the high prices of agri products, rampant smuggling, and the dire state of farmers require full-time attention and focus of the agri secretary. Hindi pwedeng remote control ang pagpapatakbo ng Pangulo sa DA. Kailangan may nakatutok sa ahensya na batbat ng problema,” according to former DAR secretary Rafael Mariano.
Marcos Jr. earlier said he will leave the DA once the food crisis is over.
KMP also said a ‘full and thorough cleansing’ within the DA bureaucracy is also a must to weed out the corrupt agri officials who are in cahoots with unscrupulous traders and importers who are behind the manipulation of supply and prices of agri products, specifically onions.
Deception in Davos
The farmers’ group also slammed Marcos Jr’s dishonesty in Davos. “The President is making up stories before global leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland by claiming that the Philippines is the fastest-growing economy in Asia.”
“We have the fastest rising inflation pero ‘yung tunay na pagbangon at pag-unlad ng ekonomiya, malayo sa katotohanan. The economy is not just about rosy projections. Kailangan may disenteng trabaho at nakabubuhay na sahod ang mga manggagawa. Kailangan abot-kaya ang presyo ng pagkain at bilihin. Kailangan masigla ang agrikultura at may kasapatan sa pagkain ang bansa,” Mariano said.
Marcos Jr’s economic managers forecasted the economy to grow by around 6.5 to 7 percent this year.
“The Davos meeting doesn’t mean anything to Filipino farmers. It is just a meeting of some 2,500 elite and economic power players celebrating globalization and how they can further the working people,” Mariano concluded.