MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Friday that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught the Philippines not to rely on imports.
Marcos, then Minister of Agriculture, made this comment while distributing various government aid to the local government of Tangalan, Aklan.
“It is possible that we will make a pandemya nangyari after the hindi tayo makapag import. Hindi tayo makapag-import ng pagkain dahil walang tumatakbo na barko,” Marcos said in his speech.
(We learned during the pandemic that we couldn’t import. We couldn’t import because there were no available ships.)
Marcos reiterated that the government is actively seeking to improve local agricultural production, including crop production, fishing and livestock production.
“Tayo, nasanay masyado tayo is import. Naipit ngayon tayo sa food supply kaya’t napilitan tayong bumili ng imported na napakamahal. Kaya’t ‘yan ang babaguhin po natin. Babaguhin po natin ‘yan. Ang gagawin po natin ay papatibayin natin ang ating agricultural sector,” the President said.
(We have become too accustomed to imports. Now the food supply is in a tight situation and that is why we are forced to import expensive food. That is why we will change that. We will change that. What we will do is the agricultural sector.)
To recall, Marcos had approved a series of sugar, fish and rice imports since the beginning of the year.
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