President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday, February 6, led the launching of “Hardin ng Lunas sa PSG” at the Presidential Security Group (PSG) Grounds, Malacañan Park, where he vowed to continue land reform programs.
“Kailangan natin ng lupa. I will continue with the land reform, but modified. ‘Pag ako nagbigay ng konti, isa, dalawang ektarya, susuportahan ko talaga. Like this, seedlings, fertilizers, lahat,” the Commander-in-Chief said.
“In my time, nag-iipon lang ako ng pera, ‘pag nag-land reform ako, if I give you five hectares I will support you all the way and buy your product,” he continued.
President Duterte, meanwhile, warned real estate speculators, those who buy lands with the hope that the price will increase, that he will tax idle lands heavily.
“If (land) hasn’t been developed for 10, 20 years, dodoblehin ko ‘yung real estate mo o triple, unless you are willing to lend it to somebody, to the barangay para magamit ng mga tao,” the President cautioned.
The “Hardin ng Lunas”, Duterte said, reminded him of his late mother Soledad ‘Nanay Soling’ Duterte, whose death anniversary was commemorated last Saturday. He said his late mother used to be an advocate of land use.
“Ayaw ko magyabang pero ‘yun ang nanay ko. My mother was also a civic worker. She established the Boys Town, nagtayo sya ng village for the blind. Tinuruan silang magtanim. That is my mother’s legacy, and many others. Iyon ang nanay ko. She was the exponent of vacant lots that can be used,” he said.
The PSG, together with Mr. Tony Cortes of Corvill Agricom Inc. and Dr. Isa Cojuangco-Suntay of Tarlac Heritage Foundation, developed an idle lot in the PSG compound into a semi-organic vegetable garden planted with assorted vegetables and root crops, such as mustard, water spinach, cabbage, okra, among others.
The harvests at the ‘Hardin ng Lunas’ will be shared by the PSG to their neighbors, friends, families, and needy beneficiaries like the Hospicio de San Jose, underprivileged families living nearby Malacañan, and government-run drug rehabilitation centers.
“I’d like to commend the Suntay sisters for their— sayang ma’am, naabutan mo sana nung buhay pa nanay ko, makapagintindihan talaga kayo. What she was doing hardin, Philippine mental health. Marami ang nanay kong ano, especially yung farming,” President Duterte said.
In the same speech, meanwhile, President Duterte said government officials, particularly directors who have been given authority to sign documents, should be the first ones to report to work and the last person to leave the office.
“They must be there all the time. ‘Pag wala sila dito, I’m warning you, ‘yung heads of offices na maghintay-hintay ‘yung tao, I will initiate summary dismissal,” the President said, adding that there will be no second chances for erring officials.
“Wala akong pasensiya-pasensiya. Kasi kung ganoon ang gawin ko ‘yun ang ginagawa noon ng mga dumaang Presidente, walang nangyari sa bayan natin,” Duterte said.
“I do not care if I go down history as the most unpopular, okay sa akin ‘yan. As long as during my time, everybody follows the law,” he added.###PND