Beyond Buzzwords: Transforming Philippine Agriculture!

Agri chief asks OneDA family to uphold civil service, work double time

Author: DA Communications Group | 3 May 2022

With the upcoming national elections and change in leadership, Agriculture Secretary William Dar implored the Department of Agriculture (DA) family to “uphold civil service above all” during the opening program of the second quarter National Management Committee Meeting on May 2, 2022 in Davao City.

Secretary Dar reminded the OneDA family that their loyalty as civil servants is to the greatest good, for the greatest number.

“I remind all of you civil servants here in the OneDA family that your loyalty, above all, is to the institution, to the DA’s stakeholders: the farmers, fishers, the vast Filipino consumers, the agripreneurs,” he stressed.

The agri chief added that while public servants must not be put on pedestals for simply doing their job, their work will outlive Presidents and Agriculture Secretaries.

With the brewing food crisis, the secretary expressed his worries on what will happen to the country “if we cannot get our productivity levels up significantly in the next year, sustain it in the midterm, and achieve food sovereignty thereafter.”

He cited three major causes of a food crisis, namely, the disrupted global food supply chain, the greatly reduced agricultural productivity of Ukraine and Russia, and the reduced agricultural productivity in the rest of the world.

Secretary Dar encouraged the DA Management Committee members and employees to work double time, continue elevating the productivity of Philippine agriculture, and sustain the gains achieved in boosting the sector.

“Dapat magsumikap po tayong lahat na lahat po ng focus natin even for these last two months and hoping that with you who are staying behind will continuously really elevate our game in terms of enhancing productivity of Philippine agriculture,” he said.

The OneDA family responded positively when the agri chief asked, “Can we have that power, that passion and energy to really sustain the gains that we have achieved in boosting the productivity of the Philippine agriculture?”

Secretary Dar added that anticipating the global challenges to food security is the first step. He also hopes that the proposed DA budget for next year will be properly considered.

“If next year’s budget is not doubled or tripled, and if we have this same level of budget that we have today, we will always have the same problem,” he warned.

The agri chief proposed that the next administration should “see to it that the agriculture sector must be given substantial budget” to have a good management of all the crisis, disasters, and the things that have been impacted by the pandemic and the Ukraine war.

“Ayaw natin na magka-pilahan para sa pagkain, na may mga maghihimutok dahil sila ay nagugutom, walang trabaho, at hindi mabili ang pagkain dahil sobrang mahal nito,” Secretary Dar said.

According to him, food security is national security and food sovereignty is economic progress.

“Double time, my OneDA family. We have two months to help the Duterte administration usher a peaceful transfer of power,” the agri chief urged. ### (Gumamela Bejarin, DA-AFID)

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