File photo courtesy of Department of Agriculture

Provincial governors, mayors, and other local chief executives (LCEs) committed to fully support the Department of Agriculture (DA) during the National Food Security Summit held at the Land Bank of the Philippines in Malate, Manila on October 29, 2019.

During the event with the theme “Sama-sama tungo sa Masaganang Ani at Mataas na Kita,” more than 40 LCEs forged a ‘covenant’ with the DA.

They said they will “solidly support and share the vision of the Department of Agriculture of a modernized, industrialized, sustainable, and market-driven Philippine agriculture and fishery sector.”

Senate Chair for Agriculture Cynthia Villar keynoted the opening ceremonies, wherein she promised to continue serving as the legislative supporter of the paradigm shift introduced by Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

The senator was supported by her counterpart at the House of Representatives, Congressman Wilfrido Mark Enverga, who also graced the opening of the two-day event.

Secretary Dar said, “I’m happy that everyone has come to this summit. We hope that everyone, including our partners in the sector, will be guided by this new thinking in agriculture.”

He also underscored the President’s “whole of nation” approach directive saying, “This is the time to do it right and much better.”

Marinduque Governor and League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) President Presbitero Velasco, Jr. led the LCEs’ expression of commitment to be an active partner of the DA in attaining a food-secure Philippines with prosperous farmers and fisherfolk.

“Mga kababayan, kumilos na tayo habang may panahon pa,” Governor Velasco said.

He thanked Secretary Dar “for convening this most important summit to come up with the much-needed solutions to the challenges faced by our farmers and fisherfolk.”

As partners of the DA, the LCEs committed to serving as “Food Security Czars” to implement their respective agricultural and fishery projects and consult with the DA that will steer them towards attaining food safety and security.

Land Bank of the Philippines President and CEO Cecilia Borromeo, who hosted the event, tackled the credit programs for agri-fishery and rural development that can be availed by the LCEs with low-interest rates.

During the summit, Governor Rodolfo Albano III of Isabela also shared how other LCEs can follow the Isabela model on Food Security Program and how it supports local rice farmers. He urged everyone to buy local rice and help Filipino farmers thrive.

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