Cabinet takes up food security, energy, housing

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Thursday discussed with his Cabinet members strategies to guarantee food security, boost the energy sector, and enhance the national government’s housing program.

At a virtual press briefing, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz Angeles said Marcos convened officials of the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development at the Malacañang Palace.

The DA, she said, which is currently headed by Marcos, presented initiatives to boost food production in the country.

The DA is heading for an immediate tweaking of the value-chain system in the country to address pressing concerns, such as rising agricultural commodity and farm input prices.

Angeles said Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla, during the Cabinet meeting, discussed ways to have “adequate, accessible and affordable energy.”

“President Bongbong Marcos Jr. wants more investments in the energy sector,” Angeles said in a separate statement.

DHSUD Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar said the department’s priority programs aim to address the growing housing gap in the country and would benefit informal settler families and those living in danger zones.

Marcos cited the importance of addressing the logistics problem in the agriculture sector to lower food prices in the country.

“We cannot afford to do that anymore. The logistical challenge is clear, and we are not handling it,” Marcos said during the meeting.

He said, complaints of forwarders and cargo handlers on policies imposed by local government units as well as the presence of many checkpoints were raised.

Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said he would discuss the issue with the chiefs of the Philippine National Police and the Department of Trade and Industry, particularly on the revival of express lanes for food trucks, which was carried out during pandemic-induced lockdowns.

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