Duterte: Improvements in agricultural sector needed

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 7) — President Rodrigo Duterte made a push for the improvement of the country's agricultural sector, saying it was a necessary factor in development.

Speaking at the Kapampangan Food Festival in Pampanga Thursday, Duterte said the country's agricultural sector was "lagging behind, almost to a fault."

"The only way to improve it really is to give more lands if we can afford it. I am for land reform...Isa 'yan sa sinabi ko sa kampanya [That is one of the things I said during the campaign] and I will not renege on it," Duterte added.

Duterte said he would look for money for land reform, but did not say how much would be allotted for it.

"We have to improve the manufacturing side of the agricultural sector. That is the only way how we can improve things," he said.

He also added lasting development must come with peace.

"I hold it as an article of faith that no progress or development can ever really hold even if — lalo na sa [especially in the] countryside if there is no peace at all," he said.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority says agriculture has a nine percent share in the country's gross domestic product (GDP). In 2015, it amounted to over ₱13 billion.

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In his speech, Duterte encouraged businessmen to look for other places to invest in, saying Metro Manila  "is no longer an option for industries."

He said places like Clark, Pampanga should be considered more as Metro Manila was already congested.

The President added Metro Manila will be a "dead city" in 25 years-at which point, he says it can no longer be rehabilitated.

"You have to disperse the crowd. Limit the factories at some time in the future...But 10 years from now, they should close Manila and start to develop...ito ang pinakamaganda ngayon [this is the best for now]," he said referring to Clark Freeport in Pampanga.

CNN Philippines Senior Correspondent Ina Andolong and Digital Producer Pia Garcia contributed to this report.