2023 June 16
CHINESE DONATION. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. receives the urea fertilizers from Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian in a turnover ceremony at the National Food Authority warehouse in Malanday, Valenzuela City on Friday (June 16, 2023). The China-donated fertilizers worth Renminbi (RMB) 100 million (PHP782.68 million) are part of the grant provided in the Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation between the Philippine and Chinese governments on April 25, 2019.
MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Friday expressed gratitude to China for its “generous” donation of some 20,000 metric tons of urea fertilizers to the Philippines, saying the act is a testament to the two nations’ improving ties.
During the turnover ceremony at the National Food Authority (NFA) warehouse in Malanday, Valenzuela City, Marcos inspected the donated urea fertilizers from China.
Marcos also received the certificate of handover on fertilizer donation from Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian who represented the Chinese government.
“In behalf of the Filipino people, let me extend our deepest gratitude and appreciation to the Chinese government and its people for this donation — a solid gesture of friendship and goodwill,” the President said in a keynote speech.
“I am not surprised that immediately, upon our request for any assistance in terms of fertilizer supply, China immediately understood the predicament that we’re in. Thus, we have today the turnover of 20,000 metric tons of urea fertilizer from China to the Philippines,” Marcos added.
Marcos said the donation would help realize his administration’s bid to boost agricultural production in pursuit of food security.
In a chance interview, Marcos said the donated fertilizers will be distributed to farmers in Luzon through the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) existing voucher system.
“Inuna muna natin dito sa Luzon. So idi-distribute ito sa Luzon (We will prioritize Luzon. We will distribute these in Luzon) through the voucher system that we already have. So, isasama na lang natin itong supply ng fertilizer na ito (these will be included in the supply of fertilizers [that we will give to local farmers]),” he said.
“The diligence and hard work of our farmers are the realizable goal of food self-sufficiency and the lasting beneficial impact of the long-standing friendly ties between our two nations,” he added.
The donated urea fertilizers worth renminbi (RMB)100 million (PHP782.68 million) are part of the grant provided in the Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation between the Philippine and Chinese governments on April 25, 2019.
Urea is widely used in the agriculture sector both as a fertilizer and animal feed additive. With its high nitrogen content of about 46 percent, urea fertilizer initiates vegetative growth and makes the plants look lush.
It is a white crystalline organic chemical compound that is neutral and can adapt to almost all types of soil and crops.
‘Promising’ agri cooperation
Marcos said the agricultural cooperation between the Philippines and China turns out to be “very, very promising.”
This, as he acknowledged the similarities in the two nations’ initiatives to improve their food production and ease their farmers’ plight.
“So, we can learn from one another in many, many ways, and that has been an ongoing process for long time now. Not just now, because of the food crisis that we are feeling around the world but also we have a very similar priorities when it comes to agriculture, so I am very optimistic,” Marcos said.
Following China’s donation of urea fertilizers, Marcos reassured the Chinese government that he is committed to further elevating Manila’s ties with Beijing.
“These generous acts symbolize the value of the relationship between our two countries. We must continue to nurture, we must continue to care for that through acts of mutual assistance and constant and amicable dialogue,” he said.
“I assure the Chinese government that the Philippines will always work for the strengthening of our ties and the advancement of our mutual interests and they are many. As we walk to the next half-century of our diplomatic ties, let this day be a celebration of many things for us,” Marcos added.
The Chief Executive made the vow, as he recognized China’s latest move as a “solid gesture of friendship and goodwill.”
Marcos also reiterated his vow to improve Philippine agriculture as he continues to take on the DA portfolio.
He said he is keen on boosting the agriculture industry’s global competitiveness, as well as on making it “world-class.”
“We are a global economy, and we have to compete in the global economy. And that is why our agriculture has to be brought to a level where we can say it is world class and can compete with all the agricultural producers around the world, especially in our region,” Marcos said.
Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos (PNA)