Manila Standard : Marcos: Agricultural innovations, lower power rates key to recovery

27 March 2022

By Rey E. Requejo | Manila Standard

Presidential frontrunner Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Saturday submitted himself to a flurry of questions posed by a panel of experts and media personalities on various issues affecting the country and the Filipino people who will vote on May 9, 2022 the next leaders of the country as it continues to control the COVID-19 pandemic.

During “The Deep Probe: The SMNI Presidential Candidates Interview,” Marcos laid down various programs Marcos:…and measure he intends to implement if elected president in the 2022 national elections, particularly on how to uplift the plight of Filipinos who are not only reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but who are also gravely affected by the series of oil price hikes arising from the ongoing war in Europe between Russia its neighboring country Ukraine.

The Partido Federal ng Pilipinas standard-bearer said that one of the problems that a Marcos administration will focus on the reinvigoration of the Philippine agriculture, even as he admitted that the sector has been neglected somehow by the government.

“I think we have really neglected the (Philippine) agriculture,” Marcos said, when asked about how to reverse the trend in agriculture that Filipino farmers are getting older but there is a decline in the number of young farmers joining the sector.

“Regarding the age of farmers getting older. The children are being discouraged by their parents not to follow them to become farmers. Their parents who are farmers are saying that don’t come in here yet, life here is difficult. Go to Manila study there well so that you don’t have to go through similar hardships we are having now. That’s the state of our agriculture today,” he added.

To reverse this trend, Marcos said it is necessary for the government to encourage development in the agriculture from the traditional way of farming to the use of modern and interesting farming technology to lure young people to join the agricultural sector.

“As a general concept, I think we have to really . . . talk about agribusiness, talk about the industry of agriculture. We have many things to achieve that,” he said.

“If it is not a traditional method of farming for the what we are doing for the last millenia, but we move to something more high-tech, then necessarily, more technically-minded young practitioners will be attracted to join the agriculture industry,” he said.

According to him, there are young people who discovered some new technology, and they have brought new techniques to farming.

“I think we can improve the attractiveness of the agriculture to younger people if we use the most modern and interesting technology. Then it will become an interesting line of work for our young generation,” Marcos said.

Marcos also laid out his plans for a study that would result in a viable solution to reduce power rates in the country.

The presidential frontrunner said he wants the country to attain sufficiency, reliability and affordable electricity for Filipino consumers.

Marcos said his administration will focus on production, transmission, and distribution of electricity nationwide and will add more energy resources to ensure a sufficient power supply.

Included in his plan is to put up additional geothermal and hydroelectric power plants and installation of more solar and wind power farms.

Marcos said he is open to suggestion that there should be a study on the possibility of reviving the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, which was a brainchild of his father, former president Ferdinand Marcos Sr.