Pressing with their campaign, the tandem of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte and Senate Majority leader Alan Peter Cayetano today, April 6, went to Malasiqui, Pangasinan and met with mango growers where they presented their “bold and swift solutions” to the sector’s pressing concerns.
As part of their continuing “Ronda Serye” listening tour, Duterte and Cayetano listened as the mango growers underscored some of their problems such as the lack of crop insurance, high cost of fertilizers and lack of a good grading system in determining the price of their product.
Cayetano said that he and Duterte will push for a mandatory crop insurance and non-collateral credit fund through the Department of Agriculture (DA). The senator said the government needs to protect Filipino farmers, specifically, mango growers whose crops are very sensitive to climate change and rain.
“Kung dati nababalot sa korapsyon, gulo at iba pang anomalya ang Department of Agriculture, sa termino namin ni Mayor Duterte, ito ay tunay na magsisilbi sa interes ng mga magsasaka. Hindi na mauulit ang fertilizer scandal at rice importation scam,” Cayetano said.
Duterte and Cayetano also pushed for additional infrastructure such as food terminals to connect mango growers directly to the market. “This will certainly increase the income of farmers while at the same time, lower the cost for consumers,” Cayetano said.
Aside from these, the tandem pledged to subsidize farm inputs such as fertilizers, implement a good grading system for mangoes to increase the precision of the price formation process and encourage investment especially of fruit-processing plants in areas such as Pangasinan with abundant production of mangoes.
“Under a Duterte-Cayetano government, we will strengthen our mango production and ensure that the 2.5 million farmers who depend on this industry will continue to benefit from it,” Cayetano said.
“We will not allow our farmers to endure further suffering and disorder brought about by rampant corruption. Through political will coupled with bold and swift solutions, Mayor Duterte and I will see to it that the government serves the interest of the agriculture sector,” Cayetano concluded.