PBBM thanks China as PHL gets fertilizers; says he stays on at DA


PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said the country is expected to produce better farm outputs this year with the distribution of 20,000 metric tons of urea fertilizer donated by China. 

The government received the 400,000 bags of fertilizers in a turnover ceremony attended by Marcos and Chinese ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian at the National Food Authority warehouse in Valenzuela City last Friday. 

The fertilizer will be distributed to 160,000 rice and corn farmers in Regions 1, 2, 3, 4A, and in Bicol via vouchers to be issued by local government units (LGU).

“It will tremendously aid our efforts to boost agricultural production, our nation’s pursuit of food security,” Marcos said in his speech during the event. 

Value of relationship

He said the donation was part of the commitment of Chinese President Xi Jinping during their meeting in Beijing in January amid rising fertilizer prices worldwide. 

The President thanked China for the fertilizers as well as its recent P4 million worth of donated rice for relief goods for evacuees in the Mayon Volcano area.

China sent the donations with the commemoration of the 48th anniversary of the formal Philippines-China diplomatic relations.

“These generous acts symbolize the value of the relationship between our two countries. We must continue to nurture. We must continue to care for that, through acts of mutual assistance and of constant and amicable dialogue,” Marcos said. 

Structural changes

The President said he hopes to maintain agricultural partnerships with China as he implements structural changes in the Department of Agriculture (DA). 

Marcos, the concurrent DA secretary, assured he will put in place measures that can guarantee supply and affordable prices of food and help farmers make more profit before he considers a new head for the department.

Some of the structural changes, he said, were already put in place, which helped the country’s “food supply crisis” earlier this year.

Due to the pending reforms, he said, none of the current senior DA officials have volunteered to become the new agriculture secretary.

“So until we can complete [those structural changes], I suppose you will have to put up with me as DA Secretary,” Marcos told reporters in an interview last Friday.

Image credits: Presidential Communications Office