PBMM: What’s this I hear that allowing the release of smuggled sugar to be sold in the KADIWA be tantamount to encouraging more smuggled sugar AND OTHER AGRI COMMODITIES?
KA MON. Yes Mr. President. Adding insult to injury Malacanang declared it legal under the Modernization of Customs and Tariff. In recent years smuggled agricultural products were supposed to be confiscated and distributed for free to calamity areas (and not sold to reduce prices for the consumers kuno and to stem inflation). What is modernization about this? Such intervention by the government will practically kill the sugar industry and discourage sugar planters to continue planting.
PBBM: How can it kill the industry?
KA MON: Sir, the president of the United Sugar Producers explained that the recent spike in refined sugar prices was due to the crisis in Europe but Philippine sugar with its mechanization protocols has remained competitive. The preposterous increase in price per kilo was due to hoarding by the traders of the remaining stocks in the market no longer with the producers or the sugar mill. The traders are creating an artificial shortage so they can jack up prices. Otherwise, there is no need for SRA to declare a SHORTAGE, as it was proven later.
PBBM: Ka Mon, you have not yet answered my question.
KA MON: It is just simple logic and economics, Sir. First go back to what is the role of government, which is to encourage productivity to employ more and have economic growth. But no one can revoke or play around with the Law of Supply and Demand or when you allow any agency of government to manipulate the statistics on supply to recommend importation then the government discourages productivity. This is ECONOMICS 101. Worst is when government fails to establish the price equilibrium of any product to favor a few TRADERS or corporations, then it has failed its constituents by creating inflation. Operating KADIWA alone cannot correct this anomaly.
PBBM: I still do not get it. Why should I not be allowed to release smuggled agricultural commodities to help poor communities through KADIWA.?
KA MON: The DA of which you are the Secretary must now identify FOOD FARMS FOR SELF SUFFICIENCY and issue Purchase Orders to buy direct from the farmers at reasonable pricing (which say NFA can recover during lean months). Then capacitate them to produce the buffer stocks needed like in onion, rice and sugar. We have the land and labor to produce it. Just capacitate the producers with credit or grants to process. For example, provide the infra needed for the onion farmers of Mindoro to produce the onions needed by the country the whole year round. Or the sugar producing provinces to produce those needed by the beverage companies and the households with forward buying. And so with rice and corn. But with what you are doing now you are destroying the productivity of our farmers and killing their only livelihood. No wonder that a group of Koreans wants Ka Sonny and his team using their GET SMART FarmS (GSF) to convert sugar lands by the 100,000 hectares to produce feed corn for their animal industry, since the price of feed corn in the world market has doubled because Ukraine and other countries no longer export and because of de-globalization. The GSF once implemented can easily employ 1,000 License Agriculturist who are now unemployed and the thousands of sacadas generating the economy in the target areas.