PBBM: What's this I hear about (Norberto) Bert Gonzales, chair of the Philippine Democratic Socialist Party recommending to replace the farmers with corporate farms like San Miguel Corporation, Del Monte or Dole to produce rice? He believes we cannot depend on the farmers anymore with their average one hectare farm only and are not capable of producing rice surplus after M 99. Is he saying that our subsistence rice farmers even with M 200 cannot make our country self-sufficient?
KA MON: Sir, this has more to do with our soils reaching cumulative fertility fatigue because of the continuous application of chemical fertilizers (and you continue to allow the importation of urea instead of capacitating our small biofertlizer manufacturers to an agro- industrial level with DA funds .
PBBM: It looks like we are beating the proverbial horse (or our aging food soldiers) to death. I am now on a quandry on this. Can you help me?
KA MON. No Sir. But as usual I can refer you to two persons in the person of one.
PBBM: You must be referring to a two headed person, which is impossible but which I need now redirecting our DA policy.
KA MON: It is not impossible Sir. There is such a person and he is what you need. He is both a professional and a farmer. As a farmer he developed an easy way for farmers to plant at less cost where labor is scarce and expensive. This is the BROADCAST SEEDING IN FLOODED SOILS that was featured in the front page of Manila Bulletin many years ago. It was adopted by a doctor farmer many years ago in the Candaba swamp and is now the standard practice that you see in there by practically 99 percent of the farmers. He is also a professional agriculturist from UP LOS BANOS who was appointed by President ESTRADA and reappointed by President Macapagal to the Office of the President PROFESSIONAL REGULATION COMMISSION Board of Agriculture .
PBBM: Are you impressing me?
KA MON . No Sir. I am just stating the facts about this person Earlier he represented the farmers in the National Anti Poverty Commission (NAPC), which you chair and current president, in case nobody informed you. As a student leader during the first quarter storm he opted to organize a moderate student group (instead of joining the Diliman Republic where he was given a citation by then Dean Dioscoro Umali for blazing a new trail in student activism) to champion the cause of saving our soils and environment (long before the Green Peace and now Sahdguro of SAVESOILS of India thought of it). This is now the KAPPA PHI SIGMA Conservation Development Society. As a Professional he organized with a friend the Philippine Association of Agriculturist (PAA). He was an assistant to Presidential Economic Staff of Pres. Diosdado Macapagal working with the Political Affairs office of your father on special operations including developing the livelihood program of the MNLF Returnees and earlier the Southern Philippines Development Authority. At age 82 he is now busy advocating with Ray Junia publisher of a weekly nationwide news tabloid and Jun Catan of MAPECON, the SOS (SAVE our SOILS ) MOVEMENT thru a biofarming system.
With several investors they will soon start the GET SMART FarmS (Green Energy Technologies for a Systematic Modernized Appropriate Rural Technologies for Farmer Sustainability under the UN SDG program to produce renewable energy from agroforest waste.
PBBM: You mean he has that multiple credentials and can do all that?
KA MON: Yes, Sir. He is also the Permanent National Chairman of an SEC- registered farmers federation (that he founded in 8-8-88 and can easily organize thousands of smallholder farmers to produce enough rice, vegetables, ruminants and livestock for our long- term food security and cheap energy. This will correct the disbelief of Bert Gonzales that our sector can't do the job with your full hearted support and political will.
He can make a good DA Secretary but he will be of more help to you as a Food Czar.
PBBM. And who is he?
KA MON. Like Ka Sonny says " Read my lips, Mr. President.