Rizal Hall, Malacañan Palace
March 7, 2017

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led a series of ceremonies spearheaded by the Department of Agriculture (DA) at the Rizal Hall of Malacañan Palace together with DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol and Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez.

The President witnessed the signing of the Philippine Cacao and Coffee Industry Roadmaps, which are considered as vital instruments in achieving food security and poverty alleviation. These shall also serve as guides for industry stakeholders in attaining their targets set for 2016-2022. The roadmaps were formulated and integrated through the DA’s consultation with concerned shareholders.

Likewise, President Duterte witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the DA-Philippine Rubber Research Institute (PRRI), the Philippine Rubber Farmers Association (PRFA), and Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc. on the Cooperation Towards Putting Up an Investment for Pilipinas Agila Tyre Factory that shall produce four million passenger tyres per year.

After the signing of the two documents, President Duterte awarded certificates of livelihood projects and plaques to the winners of Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan (MMK) National Search for Outstanding Coastal Communities. The competition aims to “recognize outstanding initiatives and contributions of coastal municipalities/cities to sustainable fisheries development.” The winners are Cortes, Surigao del Sur (grand winner), Palompon, Leyte and Calatagan, Batangas.

Afterwards, the President led the ceremonial turnover of processing and postharvest facilities for the commercial production of pineapple fibers. Assisted by Secretary Piñol, he awarded the certificates of agricultural machineries to five winner cooperatives, namely: Maduvika Farmer’s Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Sta. Ana, Cagayan; Labo Progressive Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Labo, Camarines Norte; Shalom Fiber Growers Association in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon; Adventurers Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Polomolok, South Cotabato; and T’boli Farm Growers Multi-Purpose Cooperative in T’boli, South Cotabato.

President Duterte then led the launching and testing of FarmHelp mobile application. This allows the users, primarily farmers and fishermen, to report all types of concerns to the government. The application will also be able to provide the users with information on where to sell their agricultural products and give weather forecasts through a link with the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

Lastly, the President witnessed the launching and testing of the Interactive Adaptation and Mitigation Initiative in Agriculture (AMIA) National Color-Coded Agricultural Guide (NCCAG) Map. This will help the users determine which crops are most suitable to be planted in specific areas throughout the country.

In his speech, President Duterte pointed out the importance of nurturing the agriculture sector, which is considered as the backbone of the country’s economy.

“It forms the basis for food and nutrition security, and provides the raw material for industrialization. These are important factors that allow progress to take place in society,” he said.

President Duterte also took time to congratulate the winners of the Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan awards. Their efforts to protect the marine sanctuaries, he said, will have a significant impact in the government’s pursuit towards sustainable fisheries development and will help in the mitigation of the effects of climate change.

“No one should be left behind in our journey to progress and self-sufficiency. Remember that we must prioritize the welfare of the disadvantaged and the marginalized. So, let us work together to empower our farmers and fisherfolk in order to achieve our goals of a bountiful Philippines – so that one day, in the not so distant future, no Filipino should ever go hungry again,” President Duterte said.

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