Press Release
March 10, 2010


NP-NPC-LDP vice presidential candidate Loren Legarda warned that the next administration's biggest challenge would be a food crisis, and urged the Department of Agriculture (DA) to immediately implement measures, including the release of funds, to counter the devastation of El Nino on the country's agriculture and fisheries sector.

"Unless we lay down a strategic plan and take immediate steps to counter the effects of El Nino on our agriculture sector, the biggest challenge that the next administration in June would face is a starving populace," she said.

This came after the NDCC reported that 300,000 hectares of agricultural land and P5.11 billion worth of crops have been damaged by El Nino. In Pangasinan, over P 162 million worth of rice fields have been destroyed.

"It is critical now that we give extension support to our farmers, and provide them technical and financial assistance. For instance, we should start teaching them to plant drought-resistant crops," said Loren who chairs the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food.

Last week, Loren raised the alarm on fish kills and red tide cases which destroyed the livelihood of small fishermen and operators of fish ponds in Ifugao and Isabela.

"I appeal to all who process papers in agriculture and fishery bureaucracy for the release of funds for El Nino-related purposes in agriculture and fisheries. Please expedite paper work. Namamatay na ang mga tanim at mga hayop.," she said.

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