From poorest to big harvest: Manny Pinol aims to lift
Incoming Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol said he will recommend to President Rodrigo Duterte the declaration of Samar island as a Special Area for Agri/Aqua Development (SAAD) upon his assumption to office as part of its transformation into a major food producer for Metro Cebu and Metro Manila.
Pinol, on his Facebook post, said Samar needs more than the P1 billion special fund for agriculture that Duterte promised to each region.
Pinol is going around the country to see for himself the state of the agriculture sector.
He noted that all three Samar provinces are among the country’s 10 poorest provinces but they have rich soil.
He said Eastern Samar is second poorest with a 55.4 percent poverty incidence while Western and Northern Samar both have poverty rates of 43.5 percent.
This means, he said, 55 families in Eastern Samar and 43 families in Western and Northern Samar out of 100 families are living below the poverty threshold of P11,000 per year per capita.
“One thing is clear, the poverty of the people has to end. Samar is a paradise and people should live happily ever after,” he said.