President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Maria Belen Acosta as chairperson of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDa), Malacañang confirmed on Wednesday.Acosta, who resigned as Davao City councilor on Tuesday, will serve a term of six years. She replaces Emmanuel Piñol… Read More
A long dream come true
By Ali G. Macabalang
Amid anxieties in the global Coronavirus pandemic, on one hand, and jubilation for the 2nd founding anniversary celebration of the Bangsamoro autonomy region, on the other, local officials alongside higher authorities have begun constructing six units of Solar-Powered Irrigation System (IPIS) and a water supply system to magnify rice production and end as well residents’ risky drinking of untreated river water.
“This is a long dream come true,” Mayor Nashiba Sumagayan said in an emotional speech at the groundbreaking rite here on Thursday, January 21 for the construction of the facilities funded by the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and brokered by the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA). READ MORE
January 6, 2021
DAVAO CITY – Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol is seeking an amendment to the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL) to assure farmers that the market will not be flooded with imported rice when they harvest.“Earlier today (Wednesday), local radio station DXND… Read More
There is one thing I love about a long road trip- it freshens my mind and gives me so much time to ponder on very important issues.
These travels allow me to realize that we are a country of ironies, what with the pervasive poverty in the countryside while wide swathes of fertile land lay idle.
It is so unthinkable that 124 years after our nationhood, there are still areas in the country where up to 70% of the people are living below the poverty threshold.
Some will blame this pathetic state to corruption, conflicts and lack of competent leadership. I am just a farm boy but I believe that the above-mentioned problems are just exacerbating factors to the pitiful state that we are in as a nation.
Remember when we were young and our grade school teacher asked us: “What would you like to be when you grow up?”We knew what we wanted to be: a pilot, an engineer, a lawyer, a mayor and even a president.
Of course, we did not all become what we wanted to be as a child. Fate and queer events led some of us to where we are now.
I became a politician when my father, Bernardo, fell ill in the homestretch of his campaign for the mayorship of my hometown in M’lang, Cotabato and I was called home from Manila to take over his candidacy.
That opened the doors to a new career – public service – which I later realized was what made me happy and defined me as a person.
This leads us to the realization that until today, we have failed to come up with an answer to the question of “What do we want to be as a nation?”
We are suffering from a national identity crisis because we have not fully figured out what we would like the Philippines to be.
We are consumed by our obsession to be like our neighbors.
“Look at Vietnam, Look at Thailand, Look at Malaysia, Look at Singapore, Look at Japan, Look at South Korea,” are the oft-repeated lines of our development planners.
Why don’t we look at ourselves and ask: What do we want the Philippines to be?
Let us be our own model, let us weave our own story and craft a national development plan based on what we have and our strengths as a nation.
Look at these ironies: – We are surrounded by the sea and yet we import fish. – We host the world’s foremost rice research institution and taught others how to plant rice but we are the world’s No. 1 rice importer.
The COVID 19 pandemic could prove to be the “queer event” which could help us determine who and what we should be as a nation.
Realization #1: We have to be a food producing nation because we have the resources. COVID 19 showed that the global supply chain could be disrupted by “queer” events. We cannot rely on importation. In fact, if only we invest more in rural development, agriculture and fisheries, we could be a major food producing country in this part of the world.
Realization #2: We have to develop our local economy by using our resources – human and natural – to support processing and manufacturing industries. Let us stop selling iron ores. Instead, let us develop our own steel industry. Let us not waste efforts in enticing foreign investors to come. They could be influenced by geo-politics and leave anytime just like what is happening in China now.
Realization #3: We cannot be a Service Economy because as COVID 19 has shown a pandemic or a conflict could lead to the collapse of the economy of nations engaging our workers’ services. We have to realign our educational program to this reality.
Realization #4: And finally, let us stop dreaming of manufacturing airplanes or cars. We are too far behind in those fields. Let us do what we know best like producing food, building boats and ships, tractors and farm machinery, medical supplies and others using our local resources.
With all these, the Philippines could stand out and be identified as a self-reliant country and major powerhouse in food production where every family forms part of the foundations of a national economy built on its rich natural and Human Resources.
This is the Philippines that I dream of and wish to be part of.
The Pandemic has taught us a lot of lessons which could be easily read and understood by a mind free of greed.If we still could not learn from these lessons then we are damned as a nation.
December 11, 2020
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY–The Department of Agriculture (DA) and Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) broke ground for PHP14 million food terminal in the Bukidnon town of Talakag on Thursday.
DA-Region 10 (DA-10) Technical Director for Operations Carlota S. Madriaga said the facility will include cold… Read More
About two months ago, I saw a new Facebook page started by a young and idealistic farmer from Zambales calling on me to vie for a seat in the Senate in 2022.
Today, that page has reached 30,000 members and it would be totally insensitive for me not to acknowledge this movement and thank young farmer Gabriel Hebron Francisco for believing in my capabilities as a farmer leader and agriculture advocate
Doon sa mga nagdududa na pakana ko ang Facebook page na yan, wala po akong kinalaman dyan.
I don’t know Gabriel Hebron Francisco personally and I have not even exchanged messages with him but I checked his page and validated that he is a real young farmer
.Ang paghimok sa akin na tumakbong Senador ay nagsimula pa noong 2018.In fact, binibiro na nga ako noon ni Pangulong Rody Duterte na mag Senador.
Pero buo po ang aking pasya na manatili bilang kalihim ng Agrikultura sapagkat yon talaga ang pangarap ko na merong totoong magsasaka na mamumuno sa Dept. of Agriculture.
Nagbago po yan noong isabatas ang walang limitasyong importasyon ng bigas through the Rice Tariffication Law na mahigpit kong tinutulan.
Maliwanag po ang aking posisyon sa isyu ng RTL: Let us import a volume enough to fill the shortfall and to establish a buffer stock and reject the idea of “unimpeded rice importstion.”
Bagamat naipasa ang RTL at sa simula ay sinubukan kong suportahan maski labag sa aking kalooban, doon nagsimula ang hidwaan namin ng mga Economic Managers na syang naging dahilan ng aking pagbibitiw bilang Agriculture Secretary.
Masaya po ako sa aking bagong tungkulin bilang Chairman ng Mindanao Development Authority.Bagama’t kapiranggot ang budget (P176-M budget ng MinDA kumpara sa P70-B ng DA), marami pa rin kaming nagagawa..I am writing this post to acknowledge the movement started by Gabriel Hebron Francisco.This does not mean, however, that I am convinced.
There are realities in politics that we have to consider, one of which would be the logistics needed for a nationwide campaign which I obviously don’t have.
Wala tayong yaman na puede iwaldas sa pangangampanya sa politika.Ang aking position as Chairman of MinDA is a fixed 6-year term which ends August 2025.Besides, there is a big part of me that prefers the peace, serenity, quiet and comfort of my farm
.Pero, sige lang magpatuloy lang kayo at magmamasid at makikinig lang ako.In the meantime, I will continue with my work as MinDA Chairman.
This early, isang taos-pusong pasasalamat na ang aking ipinapaabot sa inyo, lalo na sa batang magsasaka na si Gabriel Hebron Francisco ng Zambales.
Ipapaubaya ko sa Panginoon ang paglalatag ng landas na aking tatahakin sa nalalabi pang mga taon sa aking buhay.Kung ano man ang loobin Nya, ako’y susunod at tatalima
.Isa lang ang lagi kong nasa isip: God’s greatest glory is man fully alive!
November 27, 2020
KIDAPAWAN CITY – The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) and North Cotabato provincial government hosted here Friday the 4th Mindanao River Basin Management Council (MRBMC) to further discuss the preparations against severe flooding incidents in the province and the rest of Central… Read More