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Manila Bulletin : Bongbong-Inday Sara wants to transform Mindanao as PH's next food basket

News & Interviews
21 November 2021

By Melvin Sarangay | Manila Bulletin

Presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. and vice presidential bet Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio want Mindanao to become the country’s next food basket.

The Marcos-Duterte tandem, dubbed BBM-Sara Uniteam, said Mindanao must be at the forefront of the agricultural trade in the country since one-third of its land area is mostly devoted to agriculture.

They also assured that they will strengthen Mindanao to become the country’s food basket to help the region recover from the economic collapse caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Bagama’t ang Mindanao ang itinuturing na isa sa pinakamahirap na isla sa bansa. Ito naman ang maituturing na pinakamayaman pagdating sa mga natural resources. Kaya nararapat lamang na pagyamanin natin at palakasin ito nang maisakatuparan nating maging food basket ito ng bansa (Although Mindanao is considered one of the poorest islands in the country. It is also considered the richest in terms of natural resources. That’s why we must cultivate and strengthen it so that we can accomplish our goal of making it the food basket of our nation),” the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas-Lakas CMD bets said.

Mindanao, which is currently producing 40 percent of the country’s food supply and more than 30 percent to national food trade, is considered the strategic food basket of the Philippines.

“Malakas ang potensyal ng Mindanao dahil sa mayaman nitong lupa at magandang klima kaya nararapat lamang mapalakas ito para na rin sa pagbangon ng rehiyon na matindi ring tinamaan ang ekonomiya dahil sa Covid-19 (Mindanao has huge potential because it is a rich land and has a good climate that’s why we need to strengthen it so that we make the region rise after its economy was badly hit due to COVID-19),” the Bongbong-Sara pair said.

The BBM-Sara Uniteam mentioned Bukidnon, which is a well-known food source in northern Mindanao, being a major producer of rice, corn and sugarcane.

“Kilala ang Mindanao na isa sa mga pangunahing pinagkukunan ng palay, mais, saging, cacao at niyog. Kung matututukan natin ito at mas lalo pang palakasin ang produksyon walang duda na kayang-kayang makabangon ng Mindanao (Mindanao is known as one of the major producers of rice, corn, banana, cacao and coconut. If we focus on it and further strengthen its production there is no doubt that Mindanao will be able to rise),” the tandem said.

The Bongbong-Sara duo also believes that Mindanao has great potential to bolster the country’s export industry.

“Sa halip na tayo ang nag-iimport ng mga produkto sa ibang mas mayayamang bansa, dapat tayo ang nag-eexport sa kanila dahil napakalaki ng potential ng mga agricultural land sa Mindanao (Instead of us importing products from other rich nations, we ought to export to them because our agricultural land in Mindanao has huge potential),” the tandem, who are currently the topnotchers in the latest presidential and vice presidential nationwide surveys, said.