Senator Cynthia Villar was suddenly on the defensive after agricultural secretary Emmanuel Piñol regretted that the lack of water – and not the country – hampered the growth of the agricultural sector.
The senator, who leads the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, seemed to misunderstand the agricultural secretary as reproaching the land issue for the slow productivity of the industry.
"We need three elements to produce food Sunlight, water, land We need water," Piñol said Monday at the Senate hearing on the agency's budget for 2019.
Piñol was cut off by Villar, who then said that there was a lot of unused land in the country, especially in Visayas and Mindanao, and added that land developers should not be blamed for slow growth in the industry.
"Those who repent [idle] land for commercial, residential and industrial use in cities and capitals. Why do they get angry when there are many rural areas that are not used? If we do not have houses or factories, what would happen to us? ", Said Villar in the Filipino.
The Villar family is known as one of the largest land developers in the country. It has developed shopping centers, cheaper buildings and even memorial sites under Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc. and Golden Bria Holdings Inc.
"Let's not make this a reason why we can not reach our goal," she added. "Let's not give reasons that are irrelevant."
Villar noted that the DA should not insist on irrigation, adding that there are already around 1.7 million hectares of irrigated countries across the country. She said that the Philippines can not compete with the irrigation available in Vietnam because the latter has the Mekong River to depend on.
Villar instead said that the agency should focus on providing mechanization and good seeds to local producers. / you
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