Marcos envisions PH to become leading agricultural resource hub

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 6) — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said he is optimistic that the Philippines can become one of the world's leading agricultural resource hubs.

"With our energies and resources combined, I am confident that we will not only achieve our goal of feeding the Filipino people but also achieve our dream of making the Philippines a leading agricultural resource hub in the region and the world," Marcos said during the launch of a three-day trade event on agribusiness, food and fishery in Pasay City on Thursday.

The President is temporarily assuming the role of the Agriculture Secretary, saying this demonstrates that his administration considers the sector a top priority.

In his address during the event, Marcos said taking charge of the Department of Agriculture (DA) will help accelerate the development of the agricultural value chain, strengthen government services in terms of food production, and ensure commodities remain affordable for the ordinary Filipino.

He also acknowledged farmers, fisherfolk and other workers in the agriculture sector whom he called "the unsung heroes of the nation."

Speaking to CNN Philippines on Wednesday, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) Chairperson Rafael Mariano said the government should lay out more concrete strategies to help farmers who are troubled by the high prices of fertilizer and fuel, as well as by the damage brought by Super Typhoon Karding, known internationally as Noru.

Both KMP and rice watch group Bantay Bigas have also said several rice farmers nationwide have yet to receive their ₱5,000 subsidy under the Rice Farmers' Financial Assistance Program of the DA.

READ: DBM releases over ₱8 billion cash allocation for rice farmers' subsidy