As the 15th Congress winds to a close, graduating Senator Edgardo J. Angara ends his term with a rousing "valedictory" speech, thanking everyone who took part in his projects and initiatives in his 24 years in the Senate.
I entered the Senate during an era far different from this one I am leaving after 23 years.
In 1987, I joined a legislature charged to help restore democracy after years of authoritarianism and rebuild a nation beset with decline and corruption.
Rampant poverty, crime and economic stagnation hounded the country, making these the foremost challenges a renascent Congress had to address head on.
Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged stakeholders in the agricultural sector to cut down waste and enhance their production lines, citing a report commissioned by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) that showed a little over one-third —or 35.8 percent—of food produced for human consumption in South and Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, is lost or wasted every year.
The 2011 study outlined that food is lost or wasted throughout the supply chain but for most developing countries, wastage occurs in the initial and middle stages.
During the budget deliberations for the Department of Agriculture (DA) , Senator Edgardo J. Angara recommended that the agency allot more of its P74.987 B proposed budget for 2013 towards agri-based research projects, to initiate the much-needed modernization of the sector.
This is necessary, he says, to increase the industry's productivity and guarantee food supply in the country.
Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged government to immediately adopt mitigating measures to cushion the ill effects of El Niño phenomenon, which is likely to develop around October to December this year.
According to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration (PAGASA), the last quarter of 2012 might be prone to the El Niño phenomenon. The agency further warned that if this phenomenon continues without any strong policies in place, Filipino rice farmers will likely suffer because of its possible adverse effects on the country's rice production.
Senator Edgardo J. Angara said gains achieved by the President in the past year must be followed through with greater investments in quality education, healthcare, agricultural productivity, and business efficiency.
As President Benigno Aquino III makes his third State of the Nation Address tomorrow, Angara said, "The country is eager to know where we are on the 'tuwid na daan'.
Senator Edgardo J. Angara called for the deployment of more Information and Communications Technology (ICT) tools and applications in enhancing the productivity and competitiveness of the country’s agricultural sector.
Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, noted that the Philippine e-Extension Program of the Department of Agriculture—Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI) was recognized during the Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development, held a week before the recent Rio+20 Summit of the United Nations.
Senator Edgardo J. Angara today called for stronger links between Asia and Latin America at the 45th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of The Asian Development Bank.
During the Session, "Shaping the Future of the Asia-Latin America and the Carribean Relationship," keynoted by ADB President Haruhiko Kurod and Inter-American Development Bank President Luis Moreno, Angara reminded the assembly composed of both foreign and local leaders, of the strong links between the two regions brought about by the Galleon Trade.
Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged the Aquino administration to roll out more initiatives that will spur growth in rural areas.
During a dinner for Minister Choi Joong Kyung, former Korean Ambassador to the Philippines, Angara, Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science & Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), said migration from the provinces is intensifying.
(L-R) Mayor Herbert Bautista of Quezon City, Minister Choi Joong Kyung, Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat of the Department of Agriculture and Mr. Marriz Agbon, President of the Philippine Agricultural Development and Commercial Corporation (PADCC) at the dinner in honor of former Ambassador of Korea to the Philippines, Minister Choi, hosted by Senator Edgardo J. Angara last week.
Senator Edgardo J. Angara holds a special toast for Minister Choi Joong Kyung (center) during the dinner he held in honor of the former Ambassador of Korea to the Philippines. Also seated are (L-R) Governor Oscar Moreno of Misamis Oriental, Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat of the Department of Agriculture, and Mr. Jae Ho Jun, President of the Korea Financial News (far right).