“Together with other NBPC on HVC Chairpersons and PCAF, we fully support Dir. Glenn Panganiban and the HVCDP, through policy recommendations passed by the Committee for an increased budget for the high value crops.”

This is the commitment of the National Banner Program Committee on High Value Crops (NBPC on HVC) Fruits and Vegetables Chairperson, Dr. Mary Ann Sayoc during the opening ceremony of the 2023 HVC Week on April 17, 2023 in Quezon City.

With the theme “Green Revolution: Road towards Exportation”, the weeklong activity aims to showcase the success stories and efforts of the High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) towards increasing the sufficiency of high value crops commodities, developing the industries, and eventually marking the position of local high value crops in the world market.

The activity highlighted the success stories of banana, okra, pili and durian farmers and exporters.

“As we further intensify and expand our production areas, we would like to address and further complement the gaps in our value chain through using high technology innovation in production, postharvest, marketing, and compliance to international standards,” said Gerald Glen Panganiban, Director of the Bureau of Plant Industry and concurrent Program Director of HVCDP and National Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture Program.

Dir. Panganiban also mentioned that with an increased budget, the HVCDP can open more export markets to the country’s quality products and work on upscaling and further improvement of technologies. 

“Just last week, our first shipment of durian to China commenced. Salamat sa lahat ng supporta, sa DA Regional Field Offices and the DA family and stakeholders for collaborating with us. Indeed we can’t do this alone. Salamat din sa mga farmers sa pagtitiwala,” added Dir. Panganiban.

Dir. Panganiban talks to CIT Interim Chairperson Ordoñez before the start of the ceremony. At the back is Committee on Coffee and Cacao Chairperson Santos.

On the other hand, Dr. Sayoc mentioned that NBPC on HVC Chairpersons, namely Coffee and Cacao Committee Chairperson David Santos, Rubber Committee Chairperson  Alfonso Jack Sandique, and Fiber Crops Committee Chairperson Michael Claparols, together with PCAF-Policy Development and Coordination Division (PDCD), are committed to improving the situation of the HVC industry through continuous and extensive conduct of consultations and development of sound policy recommendations to address the challenges of the industry.

Senator Cynthia Villar, Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food Chairperson supported the call in her message and mentioned a study by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies that  HVCDP received 2.83% share of the 51 Billion total budget appropriation of the Department of Agriculture (DA). 

She also added that despite this funding, high value crops contributed 25.21% to the total value of production in 2020, which was harvested from only 9.21% of total land area planted and harvested for crops.

“Even in other countries, economic development has been accompanied by a shift in the product mix from food staples to high value crops, livestock and poultry. So we should now give more emphasis on high value crops,” said Sen. Villar.

Aside from Sen. Villar, also present in the ceremony were Office of the Quezon City representative and Sustainable Development Affairs Unit head Emmanuel Velasco, Quezon City Vice Mayor Gian Carlo Sotto, DA Senior Usec. Domingo Panganiban, other DA family officials, PCAF Deputy Director Julieta Opulencia, PDCD OIC Chief Engr. Francia Macalintal and PDCD-Sectoral Policy Development and Coordination Section Chief Maria Belen Milanes. 

NBPC Chairperson Santos, Coffee and Cacao Committee member and Nestle’s Ruth Novales and International Trade Interim Chairperson Ernesto Ordoñez were present to support the HVC Week.

| JC