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President Duterte has expressed optimism that the country’s agriculture sector will make it big in the global market.
Speaking at the Banana Congress 2016 in Davao City Friday, the President also pushed for the creation of new agency that would focus on the banana industry, which is now the second biggest foreign currency earner of the country.
According to Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, the Chief Executive told banana industry stakeholders gathered during the event that he favors a law enacted by Congress over a proposed executive order which called for the creation of a Banana Development Council.
Piñol noted that Banana Congress participants crafted and approved a proposed bill called the Banana Industry Act of 2016 to be submitted to Congress.
Duterte, in his speech, said: “It’s a highly competitive world today and everybody is into the business of money and that is why there is a lot of competition going on.”
“Maybe, just maybe, the Philippines will make it big in the agricultural area,” he said, noting that within the span of the next 30 years, it will be a very tight competition in the new industrial sector.
The President said Mindanao will be the country’s topmost source of agricultural goods, such as banana. However, if there are rebels burning equipment of banana plantations to extort money, business will be affected.
“Until and unless we can put together a country that’s bereft of any revolutionary tax, extortion, and everything, susunog ‘yung farm implements, it’s because of the taxation. If it’s not the taxation of the communists, it’s the extortion of the roving bandits in Mindanao,” he said.
The President then assured the banana growers that his administration is exerting efforts to address law and order problem in the country.
Duterte noted that his administration is now talking to the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front as well as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front.
The President said that should his peace initiatives succeed, Mindanao’s agriculture sector would enjoy a massive growth.