GOOD JOB. Agriculture Secretary William Dar gets good feedback from President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday evening's (Aug. 9, 2021) "Talk to the People" virtual briefing. The DA chief reported the developments in the agriculture sector as well as the financial and material provisions to fishers and farmers affected by the pandemic and natural calamities. (Screengrab) 

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has lauded the work of the Department of Agriculture (DA) under the leadership of Secretary William Dar for its relentless service despite the overwhelming situation of the global health crisis and other natural calamities experienced by the country.

Alam mo, Secretary Dar, panay ang hingi mo ng patawad (You know, Secretary Dar, you ask for forgiveness a lot). You are too humble to even just give yourself a good pat at the back for coming up with a splendid agricultural development,” the President said on Monday evening in his weekly Talk to the People virtual briefing.

President Duterte praised the Agriculture Secretary for accomplishing his promise of food security for the Filipinos.

Kami po ang nandito lang sa itaas naghihintay lang sa tiyaga at trabaho ninyo, at nakamit mo ‘yung mga plano na sinabi mo noon sa Cabinet (We can only witness your works from here and you have achieved what you shared in our meetings with other Cabinet members). You were able to facilitate and improve the climate of our agricultural picture. And I hope that you will do more for the sake of the Filipino people in the remaining days of my administration,” Duterte added.

PH is food secure

The DA has recently announced that the Philippines is "food secure" despite the typhoons that have ravished agricultural areas that are main producers of vegetables, crops, and meat.

With coordination from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), food supplies are still delivered to main market areas in the National Capital Region (NCR) amid the ongoing restrictions implemented with the reimposition of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the DA said in a statement.

Dar on Monday also mentioned that the DA, together with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), has kept its promise of continuous monitoring of food supplies and prices in the market.

Halimbawa po ang kasalukuyang average price ng regular milled na bigas ay 38 pesos kada kilo, 40 naman sa well-milled. Napanatili po natin ang presyo nito na resulta ng Rice Tariffication Law or RA 11203 na inyong nilagdaan noong February 2019 (As an example, the current average price of regular milled rice is PHP38 per kilo, while we have set PHP40 for well-milled rice. We have maintained this pricing as a result of the Rice Tariffication Law of RA 11203),” Dar shared.

He also reported that the vegetable supply is in good condition during the start of the year but the prices of pinakbet and chop suey ingredients were pulled up a bit due to the effect of typhoon Fabian and the enhanced "habagat" that took a toll on the farmlands up to this time.

For the scarcity issue on pork meat, Dar shared the market prices are starting to normalize with the President’s approval of Executive Order 133 and 134, which were aimed to lower the tariff and increase the volume of imported pork to address the low supply of pork meat in the market due to the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF).

Maliban po sa mga palengke, makabibili din ang ating mga kababayan ng murang pagkain sa mga Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita outlets sa pakikipagtulungan sa Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) at ang mga lokal na pamahalaan, pribadong sektor, sa malls, gasoline stations, mga civil society organizations, at Homeowners and Village Associations sa Metro Manila at piling lugar sa bansa (Aside from public markets, the Filipino consumers can purchase affordable food choices from our Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita outlets through our partnership with the Metro Manila Development Authority and local government units, private sectors, malls, gas stations, civil society organizations, and Homeowners and Village Associations in Metro Manila and select regions in the country),” Dar reported to the President.

Currently, there are 30 Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita outlets in the NCR that are still operational, the DA said.

The agency defines this project as a market system that sells major agricultural goods at reasonably low prices to help poor Filipino households.

According to DA, "Kadiwa" is loosely translated as “one idea, one thought” which is in consonance with Dar’s “New Thinking” for agriculture paradigm. (PNA