Press Release
April 22, 2016

Alan: only Duterte-Cayetano has political will to improve agri sector

Through a Duterte-Cayetano brand of leadership and political will, hardworking farmers constituting the country's agriculture sector will no longer feel left out in terms of inclusive growth and development.

This was a promise made by vice presidential bet and Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano as he visited local farmers in Santo Tomas, Batangas on Friday (April 22) to spread his and his running mate, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte's campaign message of creating real change in Filipinos' lives.

As part of their continuing "Ronda-Serye" listening tour, the senator had an informal dialogue with the farmers and listened as they underscored some of their concerns, such as the high cost of farm inputs, the absence of free irrigation systems, and the lack of proper infrastructure to transport their products to the market place.

"These concerns need to be addressed immediately as they deprive our poor farmers of the income and resources that they need to make ends meet. Heeding their call for real change requires more than just promising platforms. Political will is needed," Cayetano said, adding that among the candidates in the May polls, only he and Duterte can offer this to the people.

The senator stressed that, if elected, he and Duterte will push for better measures to drastically improve the state of the country's agriculture sector. "Many provinces, Batangas included, are heavily reliant on agriculture as their main economic activity. However, although the Philippines is an agricultural country, the industry only contributed 10 percent to our GDP in 2014," he noted.

Cayetano said he and Duterte will push for several programs that will provide assistance to farmers, such as free and complete irrigation systems in the provinces, subsidized production inputs, and additional infrastructure such as food terminals to connect farmers directly to the market.

The tandem also vowed to protect agri-workers from weather-related calamities such as the El Niño phenomenon, which severely affect their livelihood. They vowed to work towards the establishment of mandatory crop insurance and non-collateral credit fund programs, as well as the creation of an Emergency Response Department (ERD) that will focus on disaster preparedness and response.

"Titiyakin namin ni Mayor Duterte na 'di na mauulit ang nangyari sa mga magsasaka sa Kidapawan, na sa halip na abutan ng tulong ng gobyerno ay pinaulanan pa ng bala. We won't allow our farmers to endure this disorder brought by a negligent government. Through political will and bold solutions, we will see to it that the interest of the agriculture sector will be properly protected," Cayetano concluded.

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