Palace considering legislative remedy to ‘stabilize’ agricultural sector

Malacañang is considering a legislative remedy to finally remedy the permanent shortage or surplus of food products that constantly plagues the agricultural sector.

The issue was discussed at the Council of Ministers on Monday to identify the “factors that hinder our food security”.

Among the government agencies that made presentations at the meeting were the Department of Transport, the National Economic Development Authority, the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Home Affairs and Local Government.

During the meeting, press secretary Beatrix “Trixie” Cruz-Angeles revealed among the issues that were discussed the reason for the insufficient local supply of agricultural products.

“We are also looking at revising policy and possible legislation to balance import with local production and to address issues of overproduction and underproduction,” Angeles said.

The Palace official issued the statement after Under Secretary of Agriculture Domingo F. Panganiban recently blamed the oversupply of garlic and cabbage on farmers’ lack of foresight in the market.

Other issues, which were discussed by Cabinet members, were barriers to efficient transport, red tape and permit systems for agricultural products.

“So all the departments reported today, and there’s quite a bit of overlap. So all departments will work together on evaluation and policy review proposals,” Angeles said.

Ensuring the country’s food self-sufficiency is currently among the priorities of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr.

He said earlier that he plans to achieve the said goal by boosting local production in the agricultural sector and addressing all supply chain concerns of farmers and fishermen.

Lana T. Arthur