Long-term plans in place to improve Bicol's agri sector—Marcos

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President Marcos has assured Bicolanos that long-term plans to improve the region's agriculture sector are in place, particularly in Camarines Sur.

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President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. (RTVM Screenshot)

During the distribution of government assistance in Pili, Camarines Sur on Friday, June 7, Marcos renewed his commitment to boost the agriculture sector, stressing its potential to uplift the lives of Filipinos.

“Naniniwala ako sa potensyal nitong baguhin ang buhay ng bawat Pilipino kaya naman po ay ilang beses ko nang nabanggit na kailangan talaga nating tutukan ang [pagpapalago] ng inyong sektor (I believe that it has the potential to change the life of every Filipino, that is why I have been saying this that we need to focus on improving the sector),” Marcos said in his speech.

"Para naman sa long-term plans, para sa matagalan na plano, ang DA (Department of Agriculture) rin po ay masusing nagpaplano at nagpapatupad [na] ng mga paunang hakbang (For the long-term plans, DA is thoroughly planning and implementing the first steps)," Marcos added.

The President said the long term plans of the DA include the construction of farm-to-market roads, expansion of fishery and agricultural lands, improvement of irrigation system and other infrastructures that support agriculture value chain.

Agri roads

Marcos announced the completion of eight farm-to-market road projects around Bicol, adding that nine more agricultural roads will be constructed in various areas in the region.

The completed road projects in Camarines Sur include the P 24,934,000 road concreting (0.98 kms) in Barangay Camagong, Cabusao; P24,929,000 road concreting (1.48 kms) in Barangay Veneracion, Pamplona; P24,932,000 road concreting (1 km) in Barangay Sagrada, Minalabac; P24,941,000 road concreting (1.5 kms) in Barangay San Agustin, Bula; and P24,938,000 road concreting (0.62 km) in Barangay Laganac, Balatan.

Other completed roads were the P24.9-million (0.75 km) road in Barangay San Antonio, Buhi, Camarines Sur, and P42-million farm-to-market roads in Barangays San Pablo and Tarum in Libmanan town.

Marcos also said that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is also working to address perennial flooding in the Camarines Sur plains caused by overflow of the Bicol River Basin (BRB), which affects the province’s agriculture sector.

Camarines Sur’s major industries include farming, fishing, and tourism. Among its agricultural products are rice, corn, coconut, sugar, and abaca.

Other agri efforts

Aside from repairing and building farm-to-market roads, the President said the DA is also pushing for science-based and climate resilient farming technologies, as well as the construction of agro-processing facilities in Strategic Agriculture and Fisheries Development areas.

Financial assistance to farmers such as loans and insurance are also in place, in addition to enticing investors to put their money in the Philippine agriculture sector for capitalization, Marcos added.

He further said that the government is also focusing on improving the fishery sector of Camarines Sur.

According to the Chief Executive, the national government will provide more than 617 farm machineries and equipment worth P20.66 million to prop up the province’s agriculture production.