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Agriculture History of the Philippines

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Traces of modern Philippine agriculture became most visible to the Outside World at the height of the Spanish regime when industries were encouraged and developed and supplied the major needs of the colonizer Spain and other European consumers for tobacco, sugar and abaca.

At the proclamation of Philippine Independence on June 12, 1898, which gave birth to the First Philippine Republic under the stewardship of President Emilio Aguinaldo, several offices and agencies were established. The then Department of Agriculture and Manufacturing was created through a Presidential Proclamation on June 23, 1898.

By 1901, a policy of diversification was adopted under the American Sovereignty, which gave emphasis to the development of other agricultural products, like rice and other basic commodities, and also fishing, forestry and mining. The Insular Bureau of Agriculture was then created under the Department of Interior through Act 271.

Eventually, the Bureau of Agriculture grew rapidly until it was abolished by the enactment of Act No. 2666 on November 18, 1916, which was implemented on January 1, 1917.

By virtue of this Act entitled "An Act to Re-organize the Executive Department of the Government of the Philippine Islands" the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources took over the functions and activities of the Department of Interior, namely: direct executive control, direction, and supervision of the Bureau of Agriculture, Bureau of Forestry, Bureau of Lands, Bureau of Science, and the Weather Bureau and all matters concerning hunting, fisheries, sponges and other sea products and such others as may be hereafter assigned to it by law.


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