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‘Plant, Plant, Plant’: PH economic recovery depends on robust agri sector – Duterte

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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Monday a P66-billion stimulus package to help the agriculture and fisheries sector recover from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

In his fifth and penultimate State of the Nation Address yesterday afternoon, Duterte stressed the important role of agriculture in economic development.

“We aim to provide adequate, accessible and affordable food for every Filipino [family] through the Plant, Plant, Plant Program,” the President said, referring to the Department of Agriculture’s “Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat Laban sa Covid-19” program that aims to benefit farmers, fishers and consumers nationwide.

“Mas madali ito kaysa Build, Build, Build. Ito Plant, Plant, Plant lang eh. It is more how you try to convince the farmers to cooperate with the government for their benefit.”

Duterte likewise urged Congress to pass a version of the bill establishing the Coconut Farmers’ Trust Fund and the Rural Agriculture and Fisheries Development Financing System.

“Tulungan natin ang ating mga magsasaka pagka hindi mawawala ‘yang pera, bilyon ‘yan,” he added.

In February last year, the Chief Executive vetoed a bill that seeks to provide a P100-billion trust fund for coconut farmers in the country for lack of “vital safeguards”

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