MANILA, June 21 (Mabuhay) — Outgoing Secretary William Dar on Tuesday said they are expecting that the Department of Agriculture (DA) will have a bigger budget under the leadership of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Marcos on Monday declared that he will temporarily assume the post of agriculture secretary when his administration takes over on June 30.

“We see this pronouncement as a victory of the DA in rousing broad public support towards the sector’s rehabilitation and empowerment,” Dar said in a press conference.

“We are certain, moreover, by the statement of the president placing agriculture as top governance and budgetary priority. Thus, we expected to see bigger budget for the DA in the years to come,” he added.

According to Dar, the DA has prepared a transition report covering short-, medium-, and long-term plans to improve the productivity of key commodities such as rice and corn, and other fishery products.

It also includes programs to augment the incomes of farmers and fisherfolk.

“The present leadership is ready to brief the President-elect at his most convenient time, and we assure him of our strong support and cooperation, as we truly want him to succeed,” Dar said.

Meanwhile, Dar suggested establishing a “food terminal” to effectively manage the supply and distribution of agricultural products.

“We need now to plan, design, and implement a food terminal system for the country where you have interconnected well-networked food terminal system at the regional level, provincial level, district level,” he said.

“A part of that food terminal system will be food markets in strategic areas,” he added.

Dar pointed out that the food terminal will allow areas with excessive supply of goods to deliver them to areas facing shortage.

In line with this, Dar said DA’s Kadiwa programs should be regularized and the Food Terminal Incorporated should be transferred back to the Department.  (MNS)

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