Sen. Pangilinan plans to improve agri for RPs to be developed next 15 years

By Jason de Asis


SENATE OFFICE, Manila, November 8, 2010-Sen. Francis “Kiko” N. Pangilinan, chair of the senate committee on agriculture, emphasized that there is a need for a more encompassing approach to find solutions to boost Philippines agriculture in the next 15 years.


In the recent visit of the Senator to Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), he said that there is a need to address RPs agriculture to uplift the farmers’ income and fisher folks.


Pangilinan underscored the immediacy of winning the war against problems that delay the country in alleviating its status as one of the worlds’ largest rice importer to become a developed nation, adding that the Philippines has been importing rice for 36 years, is one of the world’s biggest rice importers although the country did not import rice from 1978 to 1983, 1987, 1991 to 1992 and 1994.


The former Senate majority leader said that the burden of providing enough rice for all Filipinos entails collective action from the government, private, academe, and business sectors.


“The bid for rice adequacy is not the responsibility of PhilRice. Rice sufficiency is everyone’s concern,” he pointed out, calling for an efficient implementation of agriculture related policies and drafting a road map for agriculture which will be executed and sustained for more than six (6) years.


He stressed that no country has progress without a comprehensive master plan extending to 20 years where he revealed that a multi-sectoral planning workshop will be held on January 2011 to craft a new agricultural development plan that will not only improve rice productivity but will also increase the income of rice farmers.


It could be remembered that Undersecretary Bernadette T. Romulo-Puyat of the Department of Agriculture (DA) urged PhilRice to increase farmers’ access on high-yielding and climate change ready seeds; develop practical and cost-efficient technologies; promote initiative and support from policy research to guide decision makers in deciding actions that would help the country to achieve the millennium development goal of lessening poverty and hunger by half in 2015.


Puyat, representing DA, congratulated PhilRice for its efficient and honest labors in promoting technologies and knowledge which according to her are for the environment and for the people.


Puyat thanked of PhilRice personnel in recognizing the Institute’s outstanding employees’ loyalty and scholastic awardees, and to pay tribute to its benefactors. (Jason de Asis)