Photo of septuagenarian entrepreneur Mariano Nocom Jr. of the United Nations Development Program with his self-developed electric vehicle, courtesy of CarGuide.ph
By Tracy Cabrera
MANILA — With President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. (PBBM) heading the Department of Agriculture (DA), it clearly points to the former senator’s advocacy to prioritize the agriculture sector and food security as foremost in his reform and development agenda.
This is according to businessman-economist Mariano Nocom Jr. of the United Nations Development Program who welcomed the new president’s desire to strengthen the country’s agriculture sector and achieve a stronger economy by ensuring there is enough food for every Filipino family.
‘I think the problem in the agriculture sector is severe enough that I have decided to take on the portfolio,’ the new chief executive had enthused on taking the helm of the agriculture department right after his inauguration as the 17th president of the Republic.
Leading the DA as its secretary, surprisingly, is a post that PBBM has the best qualifications for, given his experience in that sector as he is the first Philippine President to have spent the major part of his political career — 12 years as governor, six as vice governor and three as representative of an agricultural province like Ilocos Norte.
Speaking before the Development Forum held at the National Press Club in Intramuros, Manila, Nocom expressed optimism that this time, we have a president and agriculture chief who is really knowledgeable about the plight of Filipino farmers and how to look at their problems “straight in the eye” so that required solutions may be developed and implemented to achieve self-sufficiency for the country in terms of “food on the plate” of more than 110 million Filipinos.
“All the President (Marcos Jr.) has to do is to resolve the issue besetting the agriculture sector by lowering the cost of production and attaining a higher yield of agricultural produce,” he stressed.