Marcos wants more farm-to-market roads in push for food sufficiency

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 18 2022 09:16 PM

MANILA - President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday said the government would strengthen its farm-to-market road program to aid the country’s ailing agriculture sector.

"Prayoridad sa ating plano para sa agrikultura ay ang pagpapatibay ng programang 'farm-to-market road' at pagsusulong ng mga proyektong makakatulong sa ating mga kababayan sa sektor ng agrikultura," the President said in a tweet.

"Titiyakin natin na may sapat at abot-kayang pagkain para sa lahat!" he added.

Marcos earlier took the DA's portfolio, saying food sufficiency would be given “preferential treatment” under his administration.

Marcos told DA officials to create a "farm-to-market road masterplan" that will detail not just the location of the roads, but also the "funding source, payment terms, as well as the time frame for project completion," according to a press statement from Malacañang.

"Kung sabihin nila saan ba ang areas na talagang kailangan nating buksan? We will go to Public Works," the statement read, quoting the President. 

"Also, what are the areas that we really want to open, that really need the FMR? Iyon ang unahin natin," he said.

Marcos said he wants more roads constructed in "areas with active agricultural production to address supply chain concerns."

"It was also suggested that agricultural infrastructure should be climate-change resistant such as projects that are not prone to landslides and other calamities," it read.

One of the campaign promises of Marcos was to bring down the price of rice to between P20 to P30 per kilo. 

The DA will also undergo rightsizing just like other offices in the bureaucracy, Marcos said during his second face-to-face meeting with the agency.

"Siguro naman you have been hearing the new term now is 'rightsize' so that’s also something that we are going to have to discuss. That we have to rightsize the DA," Marcos told officials. 

"I have asked all of the department secretaries to do the same thing for their departments. So seeing as I am now holding the portfolio of Secretary of Agriculture, we also have to do it in our department," he said.

Marcos’ first 2 executive orders focused on the reorganization of several agencies under the Office of the President.

This is to remove redundant offices and streamline processes in the government, the President earlier said.

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