Re-unify DA and create a separate fisheries dept – Dr. Emil Javier
Does the DA need a little structural overhaul? Dr. Javier thinks so.
Dr. Emil Javier said in his column for Manila Bulletin that it’s about time to re-unify the DA and create an independent department for fisheries and aquatic resources.
It was at the middle of the Pnoy administration when four agencies were taken out of the DA, to create a cabinet-level Presidential Assistant for Agricultural Modernization, to help the chief of DA. However, Javier said that these agencies are beyond his supervision and control.
“It is therefore time to return the National Food Authority (NFA), the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and the Fertilizer Pesticide Authority (FPA) to the Department where they properly belong” he said.
He also explained that it is appropriate to reconsider the demand for a distinct Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
“Fisheries has not received the attention it deserves and always had been in the back burner among the responsibilities of the DA Secretary” he explained.
He also added that the poorest among the poor in the rural area are the fisher folks and the coastal communities. Nevertheless, the Philippines is very rich with fisheries and aquatic resources, which comes second only to Indonesia, which the country has not adequately tapped.
“We should create a separate Department of Fisheries and Aquatic resources and set a modest target of $2.0 billion worth of fish exports before President Duterte’s term is over” he said.