Quantcast
Latest Stories

Commentary

President’s Sona and agriculture

By

P-Noy’s recent Sona is a portent of good things to come to the agriculture sector.

It also supports a joint circular signed by the secretaries of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) advocating a mechanism for strong public-private partnership (PPP).

This is between the DA and DILG on the one hand, and the private sector-led Agriculture Fishery Councils (AFCs) on the other.

The subject of the circular is “the extension of full support to the local Agricultural Fisheries Councils as private sector partners in the implementation of local development policies and programs.”

Since the Local Autonomy Code became law in 1991, the primary responsibility of agriculture development was given to the governors and mayors in their respective localities, no longer to the DA.

All former DA extension workers were subsequently placed under the supervision of the local government units (LGUs).

Since then, our agriculture development has stagnated. Many blamed the lack of coordination between the DA (which has the budget and the technology) and the LGU (which has the extension workers and agriculture development mandate).

Since 1991, there have been two Memos of Agreement forged by the DA and the DILG for better coordination. Unfortunately, this has not happened. The recent joint Circular has added an important dimension. It now includes the private sector-led AFCs in the governance mechanism. The Circular directs both DA and DILG to give full support to the AFCs by their “involvement in the local planning and budgeting process,” and “the designation of a full-time AFC Secretariat Coordinator at the provincial and municipal levels.”

The private sector-led AFCs will now be the focus of the planning and implementation of agriculture development.

With this circular, an important seed has been planted.

The AFCs must show diligence, determination and dedication so that the President’s confidence in the private sector will not be wasted.

In the Sona, the President identified the strengthening of the agriculture sector.

He said: “The proof is in the data. This sector grew 3.3 percent in the first three months of 2013. This is triple the 1.1 percent growth recorded in the same time period in 2012. That is why we continue to sow initiatives that will certainly bear the fruits of even greater progress of our farmers.”

We support this statement in the context of a four-year time frame.

Under the previous administration in 2009 and 2010, agriculture did not grow at all. Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala turned this around to 2 percent and 3 percent growth in 2011 and 2012, respectively. The 3.3 percent growth in the first three months of 2013 shows that we are indeed on an upward trend.

Nevertheless, we fall short of the 4.3 percent to 5.3 percent targeted agricultural growth in our government’s Midterm Development Plan. With a budget of P19 billion in 2007, DA was able to post a 5 percent agriculture growth. This year’s budget of P65 billion is more than three times the 2007 budget. It is now the responsibility of the private-sector led AFCs to work closely with the DA, DILG, and the LGUS to meet the 4.3 percent to 5.3 percent government agriculture growth target.

(The author is chair of Agriwatch, former Secretary for Presidential Flagship Programs and Projects, and former Undersecretary for Agriculture, Trade and Industry. For inquiries and suggestions, e-mail agriwatch_phil@yahoo.com or telefax (02) 8522112.)


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Agriculture , Philippines , PPP , public-private partnership , SONA 2013



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

  • Seabed search for missing Malaysian jet to widen
  • Lacson rejects calls to name ‘pork’ execs
  • Obama due in Seoul as North Korea nuclear test fears grow
  • Hold departure order out vs Corona, Singson
  • Malaysia to release MH370 report–PM
  • Sports

  • Michael Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet
  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Corruption not invincible after all
  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • China welcomes PH apology
  • Only 4 Etihad passengers not accounted for
  • Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  • Marketplace