Governor Salceda Is Calling for Shift to Agriculture as RP's Engine of Growth

Article excerpt

Byline: FLORENCIO P. NARITO

LEGAZPI CITY - Shortly after assuming his post as new Regional Development Council (RDC) chairman, Albay Gov. Joey Sarte Salceda said there's an upward shift to agriculture as an engine of growth.

Salceda made this statement after presiding over the RDC meeting held last week at the NEDA regional office in Barangay Arimbay this city.

"Not in the history of this country since 1946 has agriculture been described as an engine of growth," the economist-politician said.

"Manufacturing or industry is always referred to as an engine of growth but never agriculture," he said.

And yet, he also said, that the PHilippines is an agricultural country with about 78 percent of the population living in the rural areas, noting that most of them are farmers.

"The contribution of the farmer to the output is higher than the money that goes to the pocket of the farmer which is only 14 percent. This explains why the famers sector is poor," said Salceda, former House appropriations committee chairman and President Arroyo's former chief of staff.

Furthermore, he said, 34 percent of labor is in agriculture but the sector gets only 14 percent. …