President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday met with key officials from the agriculture and trade sectors to discuss the country’s plans to import fertilizers for farmers in 2023.

The Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) is planning to buy an initial 150,000 metric tons of fertilizer this year from China through a government-to-government arrangement.

For its plan to push through, the PTIC must have a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and a sovereign guarantee from the government-owned LandBank for P1-billion worth of credit line.

According to the Palace, Marcos Jr. will sign the memorandum this week.

“I will also ask LandBank to allow DA to use its idle warehouses for the stockpiling of fertilizers,” Marcos Jr. said.

The DA has allotted P4.1 B to buy fertilizers to be given for free to farmers.

It is expected to buy around 2.277 million bags of urea to be given to farmers through farmers’ groups and cooperatives.

The government plans to import around 300,000 metric tons of fertilizer to be used next year. John Ezekiel J. Hirro