PBBM gets farmers’ perspective on DA, FDI and EDCA

Apr 6, 2023, 12:30 AM
Sonny Domingo

Sonny Domingo


PBBM; Ka Mon, what seems to be wrong with DA, Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) and now EDCA.

KA MON: Everything, Mr. PRESIDENT. First, the DA after the devolution has become a Department of Importation as your sister Sen. Imee said so. We can easily invest on a group of farmers willing to consolidate and go into integrated farming system will all the logistics and equipment they need with Professional Management to produce enough rice with its 3 million rainfed farms all over the country, we can build an island of onions like Mindoro to produce the one year projected demand and even a surplus and a region of garlic like Batanes and the Ilocos to have monopoly to produce garlic for the whole country. Like you said in your speeches there are national programs that should not be left to the local LGUs like food and national security. DA after the devolution had all the Generals and budget but was left with no foot soldiers.

Then the food soldiers of now Licensed Professional Agriculturists fend for themselves and are highly politicized instead of remaining as professionals regulated by the Professional Regulation Commission under the Office of the President and supervised by the Department of Labor that does not have an inkling on how to have the national goal of food security.

Moreover, DA and other agencies only know importation as the solution instead of mobilizing the industries under them like the Sugar Regulatory Administration, the. Bureau of Plant Industry and even the Fiber Industry Development Authority to support the farmers to produce more for economies of scale; the Department of Trade and Industry to protect the consumers against hoarders and price manipulators. And there are many more that requires a full time Secretary of Agriculture with NEDA support for goal setting and identifying the areas to irrigate and produce food for self- sufficiency.

PBBM: Let’s see about that. The BPI still has to explain the onion fiasco to Congress and now Usec Ding Panganiban for the release of smuggled sugar to the market instead of disposing it as required by Customs law. And what is wrong our Foreign Direct Investments (FDI)? We could not seem to attract enough investors after going around the world.

KA MON: Sir, we don’t need FDI. We just need the government and our banks to work together to use the precious dollars remitted by our OFWs, not to pay for importation of agricultural commodities but to invest in irrigating more areas for agricultural productivity since we are blessed with rainfall every year. For good governance we need to invest to grow the economy and build livelihood first to employ the farmers and fisherfolks to produce more food and fish towards self- sufficiency. The Philippines is blessed with mountains to produce wood chips for renewable energy and farms to produce agri-waste for rural agro- Industrialization. Yet we are not harnessing it to have cheap power. The other problem is foreign investors know how greedy our businessmen and politicians are. We must first dispose of them before FDI's come in. We have had a 1935 Constitution with parity rights for our American colonizers.

Then we tried to have this corrected by duly- elected delegates through the 1973 Constitution, but then it was overtaken by a Constitution of revenge controlled by the oligarchy. We must be ready for a tried and tested Constitution for our people as your legacy.

PBBM: And what's this about EDCA. I agreed to the Americans building it here since we do not want a Ukraine- like problem.

KA MON; Who told you we will be like Ukraine? Maybe Taiwan having been a part of China as it was with Ukraine once part of Russia with Russian natives that felt left out in the Ukrainian dominated government and who was also trying to align with NAT0.

Under President Duterte we already became "a friend to all and enemy to none." Now you brought us back to where we used to be, a pawn of the Americans. Sir, pls save the Philippines our motherland. With your off tangent national decisions, Sen. Robin Padilla maybe right about EDCA, food security and a unilateral system of government to abolish the Senate and have sectoral representation instead of political districts representation where they enrich themselves and even kill each other to monopolize business and power, stunting economic growth in the rural areas and our economy to detach from the global economy and capitalism where only the rich get richer and poor, poorer.

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