President Duterte plans to revive Marcos’ agri, fishing programs

TUGUEGARAO CITY — President Rodrigo R. Duterte said on Sunday he would revive “Masagana 99” and “Biyayang Dagat,” two projects of the late President Ferdinand Marcos, to ensure food self-sufficiency in the country.

Speaking before Cagayanons during his visit to the typhoon-ravaged province, the President expressed admiration for Marcos’ agriculture and fishery programs which secured the country’s food supply.

He said he wants to reintroduce the establishment of small cooperatives in the countryside which were implemented during Marcos’ time.

Once his economic tie-up with China materializes following his visit, it could boost the country’s economy, particularly the agriculture sector. China pledged USD13 billion in loan for the country which is equivalent to around PHP700 billion.

“Iyon ‘yung ipinangako ng China na tutulong sa atin. Ako po’y nagpunta doon, wala ho kaming pinag-usapang armas, wala ho kaming pinag-usapang gyera-gyera o maglagay ng… Pinag-usapan namin kung papaano tayo magtulungan,” he said.

“We’ll just wait for a few more days. Baka makabalik na tayo doon sa Scarborough Shoal, ang pangingisda ng ating mga kababayan,” he added.

The President will visit Japan on Oct. 25-27 and hopes that the Asian economic giant will also provide the Philippines with soft loans.

President Duterte arrived here on Sunday to assess the devastation brought about by typhoon “Lawin” which, according to authorities, damaged many houses, infrastructure and the region’s agriculture sector.

There is no report of casualty in Cagayan as a result of the typhoon but local government units evacuated more than 31,000 families in Regions I, II, III and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

The President reported releasing 20,153 bags of certified rice seeds, 3,500 bags of certified corn seeds, and more than 1,000 kilograms of assorted vegetable seeds to Cagayan farmers.

Cagayan officials thanked the President for visiting the province and providing relief assistance.

Aside from Cagayan, President Duterte also visited other areas affected by typhoon “Lawin,” including Isabela and Ilocos Norte.