Experts from the public and private sectors had earlier said that at least a million hectares of agricultural lands is either lying idle or barely used for agricultural production and related commercial purposes. These idle and underutilized lands are spread out across the various regions, they said.
Angara said the jobless and the underemployed would be the principal beneficiaries of the “One Million Hectares, One Million Jobs “ program that he is proposing.
Of the roughly 7.9 million Filipinos who are underemployed, he said, 41 per cent are in the rural areas.
According to Angara, the private sector can act as a steady and reliable market for what could be produced from the fully-utilized lands.
He said that grow-out and contract growing partnerships between agribusiness integrators and farmers have not only created pockets of rural prosperity but also generated employment on a large scale.
The contract-growing partnerships cover many commercial crops, hog growing and broiler raising.
"The One Million Jobs, One Million Hectares Program is a viable poverty-alleviation and rural job generation program," said Angara, whose main policy approach to reining in poverty is by fully developing the poverty-stricken areas and build prosperity from ground level.
Angara's main approach to economic development is building growth from ground up and bringing development right into the centers of poverty.
ABOUT REP. EDGARDO "SONNY" M. ANGARA
Rep. Edgardo "Sonny" Angara is the Chairman of the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education and Representative of the Lone District of Aurora, Philippines. Inquiries about Rep. Edgardo M. Angara may be directed to the House of Representatives Rm. N-305, Phone: 931-5001 local 7344.