Cagayan de Oro 2nd district Rep. Rufus Rodriguez has proposed a radical way to hasten the development of Mindanao, his home region.
According to him, the Mindanao's development could be sped up by transferring the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to Mindanao.
Rodriguez said in a statement Tuesday, July 19, that President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. should also appoint "qualified Mindanao professionals" as secretaries of the two departments.
“The heads of these agencies will have their hands full in growing and exploring the farming and natural resources sectors, including minerals, in our island. However, the President should ban the highly destructive open-pit mining,” he said.
Marcos is personally overseeing the DA, in a temporary capacity at least, out of his desire to better prepare the country for an anticipated food crisis in the first few months of his administration.
On the other hand, the DENR is currently headed by Georgetown University graduate and disaster resilience expert Maria Antonia "Toni" Yulo-Loyzaga. She took her oath as DENR in Malacañang also on Tuesday.
Rodriguez, a deputy speaker in the previous 18th Congress, said government should vigorously implement programs to help farmers and fisherfolks recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, high fuel prices and fertilizer costs.
He also emphasized the need to increase food production, extend credit and farm input assistance to farmers, and construct more irrigation systems.