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.
“On 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 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.
“We will prioritize Luzon. We will distribute these in Luzon through the voucher system that we already have. So 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 goals 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 (P782.68 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.
The President said agricultural cooperation between the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China is very promising, as both countries share the same priorities and outlooks for the sector.
“It’s very, very promising,” President Marcos told reporters after the turnover ceremony.
“It turns out that the priority that we put here in the Philippines on agriculture, the Chinese government, as it was explained to me by President Xi when I went to visit him last January, was the same, that their outlook, that their priorities are the same,” he added.
The President also emphasized that the Philippines and China have the same goal of providing affordable food supplies to the people, ensuring farmers’ needs are attended to and providing them with good living conditions, and enhancing the productivity of the two countries’ agricultural commodities. (See full story online at manilastandard.net)
President Marcos said it is important to maintain good and balanced ties between the Philippines and China so that the two countries can learn from one another in terms of the agriculture sector.
“We can learn from one another in many, many ways. And I think that has been an ongoing process for a long time now. Not just now because of the food crisis that we are feeling around the world, but also because we have very similar priorities when it comes to agriculture,” he said.
“So, I’m very optimistic,” he added.
The President said the Chinese donation was in response to a Philippine request to “all our friends around the world” during the crisis when fertilizer prices were rising and supply was tight.
“China did not think twice and immediately came up,” he said.
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