LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Anti-Crime and Terrorism through Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) Party-list Rep. and Benguet caretaker Congress representative Eric Yap hailed the decision of incoming President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr. to temporarily head the controversial agriculture department to ensure that food security is among the priority agenda of his administration.
“The decision of incoming President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to head the DA to ensure immediate government action on the issues and challenges in the agriculture sector is admirable and a sign of strong commitment. Kahanga-hanga ito at dito natin makikita ang political will ng ating susunod na Pangulo. We are in full support of his agenda to rebuild the value chain of agriculture,” Yap, who is the province’s incoming lawmaker, stressed.
With the recent problem on illegal smuggling, among others, Yap added the country urgently needs a capable leader who will safeguard the country’s food security and prioritize the needs of the farmers, and this declaration shows that the agri sector will be his priority because there is a need to sustain the provision of food on the table of every Filipino family.
“We are very grateful that PBBM heeded to our appeal to address vegetable smuggling which affects the livelihood of our farmers, particularly in Benguet. During the campaign, we have personally discussed this issue several times, and he expressed his strong desire to combat vegetable smuggling and to hold accountable those involved in these unlawful acts,” the solon added.
Yap said this decision may be unorthodox to some, but this is the wisest and logical one by far and a good start for the Marcos administration so that his desire to reorganize and rebuild the agriculture department to combat the challenges confronting the sector will be strictly implemented to allow the revitalization of the agency to rise up to the occasion and elevate the country’s agriculture sector to a higher level and place the Philippines in the global map as one of the major producers of quality agricultural products.
Rep. Yap asserted that with President Marcos at the helm of the agriculture department, the country’s agriculture sector will surely be provided with the sufficient support in terms of resources from the government so that majority of the issues and challenges confronting the department will be immediately acted upon.
He stipulated that the unabated smuggling of agricultural crops will surely be given the priority so that importers, brokers and even their cohorts in the agriculture department and customs bureau will have to shape up or ship out considering the enormous damage inflicted by the smuggling of vegetables to the local agriculture industry.
Yap called on local agriculture industry stakeholders to unite and help the incoming leaders of the province and the country formulate the appropriate strategies to curb the smuggling of vegetables in the country which are in direct competition to locally produced ones.
Benguet is the producers of more than 80 percent of the semi-temperate vegetables in the country for the past several decades that paved the way for the province being tagged as the Salad Bowl of the Philippines.