[By Rick Daligdig]
A better- than expected 7.1% Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Q3 performance for the year 2021 brings excitement to the investment community. PSEi advances to its best finished since Feb 2021 at 7,441.67 pts. Overall Economy grew at 3.8% a quarter earlier. The lower cases of COVID infection in the country is also a welcoming development given that Christmas Season is just around the corner. Economic activity usually as it’s peaks during these times and this is a good opportunity for the business to cope up and make a profit.
Around the good news that we had heard, there is a complete reversal when it comes to the Agriculture sector. The Q3 performance of country’s agricultural output was at a dismal -2.6%. A reversal of the 0.7% growth a year ago. The decline is also steeper than the -1.5% recorded in the second quarter. In percentage, agriculture makes 10% of overall economic output. In terms of job creation, it ranks fourth. As expected the Department of Agriculture has a lame excuse of so-called “physical disturbances” such as typhoons, diseases are the factors for this. Sec. William Dar said that the DA will do its best to achieve this year’s targets.
Many of you will agree that we cannot exclude from the equation in economic prosperity or recovery the stable and robust agriculture. The latest figures reflect on the market prices, rice for example is slowly increasing its price even the passage of Rice Tariffication Law does not commit its promise to bring down the price of rice. Hog industry was slaughtered by the African Swine Fever (ASF) as a band-aid solution, the government allowed pork importation instead of helping hog raisers to cope up and rebuild their livelihood. Yes, many strong typhoons always visit our country but after all these years, It seems that government still lacks or if have, does not implement its strategy, programs for the sector.
Farmers and fisherfolks are still in the chains of ballooning debts that hamper living them decently. We acknowledge some government efforts but… but still, we are on a long way path to achieving Food security in our country. It is so ashamed that once upon a time we are the rice exporter but now we are among the top importer of rice.
We must unlock the huge opportunity in the Agriculture Sector in order to boost more our economy, increase agricultural output so that there is enough supply in the market, to create more jobs, and showcase our Agri-products to the world. But most importantly, to ensure that every Filipino poor or rich will have food on their plates. Do you want the economy more prosper? Feed your citizens! #DM