DA Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban (Photo courtesy of Department of Agriculture)

MANILA – The Department of Agriculture (DA) cited the need for an effective and efficient regulation of agricultural chemicals for food security and environmental protection amid global challenges.

Speaking at the 46th founding anniversary celebration of the DA's Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA) on Tuesday, Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban noted the significance of the regulatory agency in achieving the goals of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., as well as providing the highest level of food security for all Filipino consumers.

“The Marcos administration came into office last year with the conviction that every Filipino is born with the inherent right to adequate food. The President is committed to guaranteeing every Filipino that right,” he said in a statement posted on the DA social media page.

Panganiban added that the department’s collective efforts last year led to the 19.76 million metric ton-palay production record, which exceeded the yield between 2000 and 2020 year-on-year.

“The DA distributed 7.7 million kilograms of fertilizer last year, along with 2,500 gallons of pesticides and a billion pesos in fertilizer discount vouchers,” said Panganiban, noting that the intervention provided essential farm inputs for the enterprises of 1.8 million farmers and 14,000 farmers’ cooperatives.

He also acknowledged the agency's personnel for improving the quality of life of Filipinos through increased farm incomes, productivity and food production using safe and appropriate fertilizer and pesticide inputs for the past 46 years.

The DA-FPA, along with the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM), has organized 379 training sessions on balanced fertilization all over the country.

Panganiban called on the FPA to continue enhancing their services and make necessary changes for the benefit of Filipino farmers.

“You must keep up with your mandate to help the agriculture sector to obtain adequate supplies of fertilizers, pesticides, and other inputs; enforce the highest quality control standards for both fertilizer and pesticides, and other agricultural chemicals; provide farmers with the technical capacity and the capital they need to produce their own organic fertilizer through the implementation of the Fortified Organic Fertilizer Development Program; and educate both the industry and the country’s farmers on the safe and judicious use of farm input,” he said.

Panganiban, Assistant Secretary Rex Estoperez and DA-FPA officials led the culminating activity with representatives from the regional offices and key players in the fertilizer and pesticides industries. (PNA)