THE Department of Agriculture (DA) on Tuesday vowed to further strengthen the country’s dairy industry after a lawmaker slammed milk agencies for the weak academic performance of Filipino children. In a statement, the DA unveiled plans to address drawbacks faced by the industry and sought an additional budget for a “revitalized dairy road map” until 2022. This road map, it said, would be the basis of its goal to meet the 22-kilogram annual per capita milk consumption in the country. The department would also “geometrically” increase the population of dairy cattle and upgraded carabaos, which could produce 12 to 15 liters of milk a day. The National Dairy Authority (NDA) and Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) would also recalibrate their programs and targets, including improving the genetics of dairy buffaloes and cattle to produce seven liters and 18 liters of milk, respectively. The statement came after Sen. Cynthia Villar criticized the PCC and NDA for the lack of affordable milk in the country, saying they were partly to blame for the low output of Filipino students. “We acknowledge the observation of Sen. Cynthia Villar on the real situation of the country’s dairy industry, particularly the measly supply of locally-produced milk. We appreciate her passion for our local dairy industry to produce the needed milk to feed our children,” the DA said.