CHIMERIC CONVERSATION
CHIMERIC CONVERSATION

PBBM and Farmer leader talk about rice, etc

Sep 8, 2022, 7:13 AM
Sonny Domingo

Sonny Domingo

Columnist

PBBM: Ka Sonny. What could be the root problem (cause) of why we have to import rice, poultry, pork and now sugar and salt? Could it be that they are now trying to bring down my administration? If True, I would like to know WHY??

KA SONNY: Mr. President, your question is very hard but I would like to give you a simple answer. Here goes

1.You must now realize that most of those who voted for you gave you a margin of 16 M votes (similar to the winning votes of President Duterte) come from the poor in the cities and the farmers in the countryside. Unfortunately they do not control the economy. The businessmen of course are in control and they would also like to control the government.

2. During the time of your father we were only 50 million and through agrarian reform he placed all the rice lands in the hands of the tiller. Then he irrigated the rice lands to increase production to self sufficiency and also encouraged the production of sugar and salt. Now we are more than 100 million and we have lost the irrigated rice areas, and so with the sugar farms to produce more.

3. Also we have opened our economy to the global market, even as we had no commercial farms (only subsistence farms) to compete globally.

PBBM: But I thought we were progressing towards producing more with all this talk about farm modernization and farm mechanization and block farming in the sugar industry and all this hullabaloo about increasing yields through farm mechanization and modern farms and now even digital farming.

KA SONNY: That's the sad part of it Mr. President. You were given the wrong notion that all these will make the farmers produce more and increase production (using their own meagre funds and now most of them are no longer capable of financing their own rice production).Now you know this can't happen. With this they are again not only pulling your legs but also your pants down. Pls pardon the pan.

PBBM: So what then is the real problem? Ka Sonny, I'm already tired of attending long meetings at the DA and to think that I have to also right size the DA because many agencies have already outlived their usefulness and some of them are just milking cows of those that I will appoint. I also would like to fix the bureaucracy.

KA SONNY. Oh, you can go ahead with that but you must also do a more drastic action to resolve our lack of production. Mr. President the problem is while our population has grown, our agricultural production areas have depleted.

For example, the Las Piñas salt farms are gone. Then our irrigation is now only 25 percent efficient according to Google report on the impact studies of The AFMA LAW (Pls read my forthcoming postings on the AFMA in a paper I read on the subject as Guest Speaker of a Stakeholders CONSULTATION of the Office of the President PRC with the PAA (Philippine Association of Agriculturists Inc. ) .

So the long and short of the food supply problem is the need to provide more production areas that will be efficient and globally competitive. As to how, please "Read my Lips," Mr. President. The space allocated for this column is not enough .

PBBM: So what then must I do to resolve the issue especially with Congress trying implicate my Executive Secretary that will then compromise my Presidency with this (sugar) fiasco.

KA SONNY: Mr. President. Releasing the industrial grade (now hoarded by the traders) to the consumers and asking supermarkets to reduce their retail price to consumers and now ordering the importation for the industrial sector is a welcome move. This proves your resolve to settle the issue. Just make sure it is not raw sugar. This will destroy the livelihood of our sugar planters. Now this also proves what we have been telling you about price manipulation in Agriculture and hence we have proposed in our Facebook (Vicente Domingo) posting the need to shift to Socialized Agriculture (as in the Socialized Housing for Employees and now Socialize Transport for workers and students ) where the government controls production and importation to benefit both. Socialized Agriculture is a public investment to encourage the producers to produce more on their farms with the right pricing (in the farm gate to provide enough incomes to educate their children) with public investment and logistics to provide the consumers continuous supply with reasonable pricing. The government will then absorb the difference using government funds and resources that are already in place (or yet to be constructed similar to building skyways charging those that will use it for convenience and private gain.

PBBM: Yes, Ka Sonny. Looks like I was caught in the cobwebs of anomalous transactions by the sugar cartel. It's a good thing that I had in mind the interest of the farmers first and the consumers later.

KA SONNY: Yes Mr. President. It is a sad commentary that those before you at the helm of the Department of Agriculture took first the interest of the consumers (which is a function of the Department of Trade and Industry) and conveniently avoided the interest of the producers, the farmers, which is their mandate. Perhaps you must now correct this and put the determination of the supply and demand with the DTI and that all imports must be done by the government on behalf of legitimate traders using their funds on a G2G. The Secretary of Agriculture should not be bothered with such matters to be able to focus on producing the shortfall and investing on it to capacitate the small farmers that control the land which is the basic factor of production that is not elastic in what they call the production coefficient. This is what happens when you have a non- technical person to head a production agency like the DA (as you are)and a regulatory agency like SRA and NFA. And that starts with you Mr. President. You are not a soldier of the soil and do not know what to aim for in modernizing Philippine Agriculture to produce more.

PBBM: Oh, why start with me, Ka Sonny?

KA SONNY: Because you should remain as our President to orchestrate all and not be embroiled in controversies like this. Now you have just lost a decent and dedicated public servant (at the DA that was not savvy enough to avoid collaborating with crooks in government)..Instead of believing your perceived order he could have investigated first himself the statistics fed to him and give you the proper advice. Working with a President is hard enough and more so with the politics of fear and favor embedded in your position as President . That Mr. President is the root cause of this fiasco and is now developing to be repeated in the rice industry (very soon) if you do not watch out. This started with you having dinner with the rice traders. It’s about time you also sit down with our sugar and rice producers but in a more realistic way. This is by joining my project visits to the countryside to have lunch with our poor farmers and me. (Cut off your nice hair, put on your jeans and rubber shoes and let's go around the barangays and towns and act like my assistant (when a Farmer talks to a person asking him questions, most often he looks at the assistant and you will know the truth) . That's a challenge to you to see your constituents. Travel incognito with me and listen to me and the farmers as I will try to convince them to now adopt a BIO-ORGANIC FARMING SYSTEMS to Save Our Soils. In the process you will get to know what Philippine Agriculture is and how the dream of your father for our smallholder farmers has deteriorated into a nightmare leading to farmer and family suicides and their women and children being sold for one night. Join me in my project visits with your face mask. It will be a once in a lifetime experience for you (because not many will invite you the way I do. Travel with me as an ordinary citizen in my forthcoming 4 -day trip to Ilocos Sur, then back to Pangasinan, on to Zambales then to mountainous Bataan and back to Manila. Like I said it will also be your adventure for a lifetime to start your Journal of a President. (Just have your valet (not- a bodyguard) with you)To cover your identity, talk and act like one of my assistants. Take a rest for one week from your Presidency and be with me in our campaign to SAVE OUR SOILS, SAVE OUR SOCIETY AND SAVE OUR SOULS , MOVEMENT. For a week, be one of us, my dear President. You will never pass this way again. And we will never invite you again this way.


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