Farmer tells BBM that food security is national security

Mar 23, 2023, 12:09 AM
Sonny Domingo

Sonny Domingo


PBBM; What's this I hear about Food Security is National Security. When rice exporting countries will stop supplying us with their surplus because of the possibility of a World War III or when China starts to stockpile their food requirements for whatever reason, then the Philippines will suffer a shortage and will irreversibly be in a bind. Is this what you are saying and no one is telling me about it?

KA MON; Yes Mr. President. You now have to cross the Rubicon for our country to survive this looming the Far East starting here. NOT ONLY THAT, food is the basic tool that will promote business and it’s the only way to help our farmers to create new generation jobs and to stem inflation.

We must now provide trillions of pesos to intervene in agriculture to produce more and stem the growing inflation. It is not just a matter of importing more and cheaper fertilizers. Or changing varieties from certified seeds to hybrid seeds. Such solutions are too simplistic to solve a complex problem of food production that will require social engineering. This is where you should focus. Our neighboring China solved their fish supply problem just be taking over our fishing grounds when our coast guards left the area first and not making sure that China's militia also left the area or that we had to give way so China will continue buying our banana. Such Banana diplomacy should not happen again. But geopolitics is not really our concern now. It is your food policy pronouncements that concerns us most. The simplistic solutions given you by your advisers should now be reviewed to prevent unrest in the countryside.

PBBM: And what is your solution to this looming food crisis? Retail prices of rice remains high. Onion prices went dramatically high because of manipulated supply statistics. Our poultry and pork integrators could no longer cope with the demand because of imported diseases.

Our subsistence fishermen could no longer catch enough fish. Our public markets are now controlled by stallholders. Only the traders now seem to be the ones making money and laughing their way to the bank. The investible funds of Land Bank running to trillions have been borrowed by our government to comply with watered- down PD 717. Our credit to the farmers to produce is non-existent. We do not have enough warehouses and cold storage. Our NFA is totally inutile in controlling supply for lack of a buffer stocking strategy. Our Food Terminal Inc. was sold to the Ayala's destroying its purpose as a food terminal to supply the vegetables coming from Bicol through the Bicol Express to feed Metro Manila that was abandoned after the Marcos Sr. administration. These were all in the development blueprint abandoned when President Marcos Sr. was ousted.

PBBM: I agree. Now what should I do?

KA MON: Go back to the blueprint and revive the mandate of the former Ministry of Human Settlements under the new Department of Human Settlements. As to how, you can ask Ka Sonny Domingo. He is one of the remaining technocrats of MHS that is still alive as a possible adviser who has been proposing the continuation of the MHS programs.

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