“HINDI ko kayang mag-isa itong task that was handed to me by our President.”
This was the admission Monday by newly-appointed Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel, Jr. during a press conference where he sought the cooperation of everybody in the Department of Agriculture (DA).
He also asked the support of the media to help his administration to relay the right information to the public on the projects and programs of the department.
“Ito ay para maiparating sa ating mga kababayan nang maayos ang mga programa para walang nagpa-panic at para malinaw ang mensahe upang maiintindihan ng lahat,” Laurel said.
Laurel said in the next few days, he will go around the country to personally ask the farmers and fishermen of their concerns.
“Gusto ko marinig nang personal kung ano ang hinaing nila at ano yung nakikita nilang vision nila. Gusto kong makita ang kailangan nila,” Laurel added.
With regard to the marching orders to him by President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., Laurel said the direct orders were to increase production in almost all sectors of commodities.
In terms of rice production, Laurel said the President wanted him to focus on modernization, irrigation, fertilization and use of the right type of seeds.
Laurel, on the other hand, disclosed that the promised P20 per kilo of rice by the administration is an aspiration.
“The problem now is we are at a 15-year high sa world market. Dating $230 per ton from Vietnam. Today, it is $700 per ton, so today that is not possible.
But with the directive of the President–to modernize, irrigate, use the right seeds and mechanize, maraming gagawin, we are getting ready to do our best, to try to make rice affordable, kaya ng bulsa ng mamamayan.
We are hoping to do that towards the end of next year,” Laurel explained.