DAVAO CITY—The rural sector composed of stakeholders and rural experts met here for a two-day conference to craft recommendations on rural development for inclusion in the 2017-2022 Philippine Development Plan (PDP).
DAR Secretary Rafael Mariano, whose agency was the lead convenor of the summit, said, “these consultative conference and workshops is a step in the right direction for us in the Duterte administration. In these workshops, we consulted our kababayans who discussed with us what they need and expect from the government. We listened to them and consolidated their ideas and suggestions for rural development.”
The conference was a thematic summit on food security, land tenure improvement and environmental protection whose proponents are the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
“It was tackled in the workshops that our farmers want security of tenure in their lands. They also want their welfare and rights protected. We at the DAR will do just that so that they can ably contribute to rural development,” said Mariano.
“Another major issue raised [in the workshops] was self-sufficiency in food production and illegal mining. We in the rural sector fully agree with our stakeholders that our country should not depend on importation of agri-products like rice. We should be self-sufficient to ensure food security in the country. We are also one with them in enforcing responsible mining for the protection of our environment,” added Mariano.
DAR Undersecretary Luis Pangulayan said the summit “served as consultation mechanism for the DAR, DA and DENR to present the country’s current state on food security, agrarian reform and environmental protection initiatives to our stakeholders.”
Pangulayan said around 300 participants from the three government agencies, nongovernment organizations, and rural development experts attended the two-day summit. The participants discussed updates and status of the rural development plans of various agencies. Workshops and consultations were also conducted for the participants.
“The participants and us in the government, brainstormed on the opportunities, challenges and came up with suggested solutions on land, food and environmental problems,” added Pangulayan.
On the second day, outputs from workshop groups from the DAR, DA and DENR was presented to Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco represented by Assistant Secretary Jonas George Soriano who in turn will submit it to the President the for consideration in the crafting of the 2017-2022 PDP.
The conference on food security, land tenure improvement and environmental protection was held at the Waterfront Insular Hotel, Davao City on Nov. 3 to 4, 2016.
Photo: DAR Secretary Rafael Mariano (center) accepts the stakeholders’ recommendations from officias of DAR, DA and DENR for submission to President Duterte for inclusion in the 2017-2022 Philippine Development Plan.