19 Feb Duterte-Cayetano Tandem to transfer DA and DENR to Mindanao If They Win in May
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Alan Peter Cayetano is eyeing to transfer the headquarters of two government departments from Manila to Mindanao if ever they win this coming May elections. These departments are the Department of Agriculture and Department of Environment and Natural Resources. As said by Cayetano addressing a rally in Tagum during the past weekend, “It’s about time to give the island its due”. Considering that Mindanao is the food basket of the country yet officially neglected in decades, he added.
According to government data, Mindanao is accounted of at least 34 percent of the country’s gross domestic product and 44 percent of the national food trade. With the coconut industry alone, Mindanao is accounted for 64 percent of total Philippine production. With this, relocating DA to Mindanao would be fine since its agriculture represents 38 percent of the Philippine agricultural output. This is according to Fermin Adriano who is a Mindanao policy adviser of former President Fidel V. Ramos.
He also mentioned that as of May 2013, Mindanao was an active contributor of the minerals industry with it hosting 20 of the 38 opearting metallic mines in the country accounted for 80 percent of the national total deposits of copper, nickel and gold. He welcomed the idea of transferring DA to Mindanao BUT he expressed reservation about DOE and DENR and that it must stay in Luzon. And the founding chair of the Mindanao Business Council, Marriz Agbon, pointed out that 70 percent of the power market in the Philippines is in Luzon.
Agbon quoted, “We’re talking here of industries and other large power-consuming businesses.” And added that bringing the other key departments to the South will be good for Mindanao.
“In Mindanao, it will do well for government to pursue a distributed energy policy environment wherein distribution utilities are encouraged to develop or solicit power projects in accordance with their respective projections of local economic development,” she said.