After his Senate term ends on June 30, Senator Panfilo "Ping" M. Lacson is hoping to start the next chapter of his life story - by contributing to food security through a new endeavor.
Lacson and some friends, including former Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel "Manny" Piñol, have organized themselves to venture into an agri-aqua business.
"I’m just looking at a closed chapter in my life story. I’m now turning a new page with a new chapter. This is my third career. My first career was in law enforcement, then I became a legislator," Lacson told Senate reporters last night (June 26).
He said they are seeking to boost Philippine agriculture by planting the protein-rich sorghum while engaging in small-scale feed mills, hatcheries and fish cage farming in Mindanao and Luzon - and contribute to help make the Philippines food-sufficient while providing our local farmers with additional income outside the traditional rice planting season.
Last June 19, Lacson, Pinol and their business partners spent Father's Day in Pangasinan to inspect and conduct soil analysis in the site.
According to Lacson, these efforts would help protect Filipino farmers from the effects of unnecessary importation of agricultural products while making sure Filipinos have enough to eat.
In hearings of the Senate Committee of the Whole on agricultural smuggling, Lacson, along with Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III, took the cudgels for farmers hit hard by the unabated importation of agricultural products.
"Food shortage has become a global concern, further aggravated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. It is timely that agri-aqua businesses be encouraged by both the public and private sectors," Lacson added.
On June 30, Lacson caps over 50 years of public service that started in 1971, when he defended the Filipino people from threats to national security through his work as law enforcer in the Philippine Constabulary and the Philippine National Police - including his stint as PNP Chief from 1999 to 2001.
From 2001 to 2013 and from 2016 to 2022, Lacson protected the Filipino people from corruption with his advocacy of scrutinizing the national budget and making sure anomalous entries were removed.