MANILA – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Friday expressed his support for the Department of Agrarian Reform’s (DAR) initiative of encouraging the youth sector to engage in agriculture.
“I agree that we really should be tapping our youth more in agriculture. At maganda na talagang natututukan in particular ang ating mga kabataang graduate ng mga kursong agrikultura at nabibigyan ng lupang sakahan [I agree that we really should be tapping our youth more in agriculture. It is good that we are giving particular attention to our agriculture students and giving lands for them to till and develop],” he said during an episode of the Cabinet Report.
Secretary Andanar said that there is a vast opportunity for Filipinos in terms of developing the country, especially the countryside. He noted that development should also reach those outside of the city centers.
“Patuloy ang ating panawagan: lawakan ang ating pananaw, we have 7,641 islands of beauty of our opportunity, we have fields of bounty, mountain tops of growth and waters and richness around us. Kaya, sana makita natin ang pangangailangan ikalat ang development sa buong kapuluan [We continue to call on everyone to broaden their perspective. We have 7,641 islands of beauty of our opportunity, we have fields of bounty, mountain tops of growth and waters and richness around us. I hope we can see more clearly the need to spread development across these islands],” he said.
“There is more to the Philippines than our city centers, let us appreciate our countryside and invest in it for our own future,” he added.
Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones sat as guest during the program where he discussed the recent incentive policy of DAR for agriculture graduates. He said that these individuals may be eligible for land grant under the agency’s program pursuant to Administrative Order No. 3 issued last 2020.
Castraciones said that this will help encourage young people to venture into agriculture.
“Ang ating mga magsasaka, tumatanda na. Ang average age ng magsasaka ngayon ay 57 years old. And whether we like it or not, most of our citizens, they would like their children to finish college, and thereafter, leave agriculture or farming. They would rather be engineers or accountants, lawyers, etc. [Our farmers are getting older. The average age of Filipino farmers today is 57 years old. And whether we like it or not, most of our citizens, they would like their children to finish college, and thereafter, leave agriculture or farming. They would rather be engineers or accountants, lawyers, etc.],” he said.
Under the said Administrative Order, new graduates of agricultural courses may be awarded with land of not more than 3 hectares so long as they meet the qualifications and secure the requirements.
It states that the individual must also be landless at the time of his application for the program, and their parents must not be applicants or beneficiaries of other agrarian reform programs. They must also be residents of the municipality where the land to be distributed is situated .
“Ito po ay ginagawa natin para muling magising po iyong tinatawag natin na love of the youth for farming [We are doing this to awaken the so-called love of the youth for farming],” Castraciones said.
“Napagtanto po natin during the time of the pandemic na agriculture is the last frontier of our survival. Without agriculture, I’m sure there will be a problem of food sufficiency. And that is the reason why kailangan po natin na i-motivate iyong atin pong mga kabataan para po talagang muling magbalik iyong kanilang pagmamahal sa agrikultura [We realized during this pandemic that agriculture is our last frontier of survival. Without agriculture, I’m sure there will be a problem with food sufficiency. And that is the reason why we need to motivate our youth to engage in agriculture],” he added.