AGRICULTURE will be the first department to undergo reforms under a Norberto B. Gonzales presidency, the standard-bearer of the Partido Demokratiko Sosyalista ng Pilipinas (PDSP) said in a virtual press conference on Wednesday. 

He said agriculture will be his priority to boost food production and generate more income for farmers. 

Kaya ang una kong lilinisin, hindi naman natin malilinis agad… uutusan natin para kumilos agad ay yung (That is why the first to be revamped… we will order to immediately take action is the) Department of Agriculture,” he said. 

Mr. Gonzales, a former defense secretary and national security adviser under the presidency of Gloria M. Arroyo, said food security “is a national security question.”

“We want to make sure that a strategic crop such as rice will be produced by us. And let us not oppress those who produce them,” he said. 

He said rice production could be made more profitable by using more modern equipment.

He also said that stable food supply would mean improved health conditions for the population, which helps provide protection against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). 

The presidential aspirant also said that the pharmaceutical and drug industry should be strengthened and reorganized to address medicine supply issues. 

His other administrative priorities include cleaning up urban areas and decongesting crowded communities.  

The PDSP party chair advocates for social democracy, which he said is an alternative political philosophy that puts the means of production more in the hands of government. — Jaspearl Emerald G. Tan