Virgilio R. De Los Reyes is the Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform in the Philippines from June 30, 2010 to date. He leads the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
How would you qualify the role played by international investors to boost productivity and investment?
The increased presence of international investors in the country, particularly in agribusiness, will propel and enhance the competitiveness of this sector. The IPP 2014-2016 espouses the new industrial policy that serves both as a developmental tool for investment decisions of the private sector (local and international) and a promotional tool for government to encourage first movers in new investment areas. Also, this will provide appropriate responses to the most binding constraints that prevent the entry of investments or industries from moving up the value chain.
Investment in agribusiness should focus on the potentials of the sectors to generate employment, move up the value chain, create spillovers and promote competitiveness in the market as well as closing the supply and value chain gaps as indicated in the sectoral roadmaps and available studies. The most binding constraints to the growth of the industries were identified and appropriate policy responses were recommended.
By creating an environment conducive for business to flourish and embarking on initiatives to strengthen industries, the government can promote the success of domestic firms in both the local and international markets. A favorable business environment will unleash the full potentials and productivity of our industries to take advantage of the market opportunities and become effective engines for sustained and inclusive growth. This will also result to increased presence of investors in the country.
What are the key objectives to be met in terms of Social Infrastructure and Local Capacity Building?
Our key objectives in the provision agriculture social infrastructure services include the following: improving the farm income, viability and competitiveness of smallholder farmers; obtaining food self-sufficiency and security; alleviating rural poverty; and sustainable development of the agriculture and fisheries sector.
For local capacity building, our key objective is to enhance the technical, business, social and technological skills and know-how of stakeholders namely smallholder farmers and fisherfolks and their organizations, local government units (LGUs), private sector, and other local institutions.
The government also crafted policies and programs that synchronize the efforts of smallholder farmers so they could develop scale in producing agricultural goods. This includes strengthening the farmers’ organizations so they could become the vehicle for improved scale.