'[B]illions of industrial tree and fruit tree seedlings must be produced to be given to the 10 million Indigenous people and kaingeneros to plant them on top of the mountains and denuded forest and protected areas with allowances and incentives.'
PBBM: What's this I hear that that our DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) and the DA are giving more attention to stopping land reclamation in Manila Bay and DA just doing training in F2C2 instead of combining their manpower and financial resources to solving the problem of flooding and more efficient crop production?
KA SONNY: Yes, Sir. In your recent briefings and dialogues. you seem to focus more on the Public Works for Infrastructure and DSWD for Ayuda which always offers short term solutions. You are terribly being misled.
PBBM: Ka Sonny ... but that is what is important in time of calamities.
KA SONNY: Wrong, Sir. It is also the best time to get the ideas of your LGUs and the affected sectors so you will just not only depend on the advice of your technocrats and bureaucrats. Otherwise you would be giving only "band aid" solutions to perennial problems.
PBBM: And what could be these perennial problems?
KA SONNY: Flooding and inflation. Flooding is the fruit of deforestation. This means DENR needs more funds to do its National Greening Program or link with private investors to do its job. And inflation is the lack of production or uncontrolled population control. This means the DA is not doing its job of developing policies and programs to increase production or that the Population Control Commission (if still existing) is remiss on its job.
PBBM: And so what must I do? Previews Presidents had similar problems.
KA SONNY: Sir, they failed to look into the future, say two years from now?
PBBM: And what would you say to be the future? With all the Presidential problems that I now have, which is always putting out fires here and there. Looks like I could only think of working towards a "robust economy" by keeping on inviting direct investors. Is that not enough?
KA SONNY: Sir, our people can not eat "robust economy" and statistics like a "7 percent growth". They must be able to buy more food on their table with the wages that they have and have a better price for their produce and not be a victim to an "unequal free market economy" .
PBBM: You make it sound so simple, Ka Sonny, and I wish with all the powers of my Presidency it can be done.
KA SONNY: Sir, solving the problem of flooding and inflation is solvable just with practical strategies.
PBBM: Go on, Ka Sonny, I would like to hear some more.
KA SONNY: First, billions of industrial tree and fruit tree seedlings must be produced to be given to the 10 million Indigenous people and kaingeneros to plant them on top of the mountains and denuded forest and protected areas with allowances and incentives.
They can then harvest the trees and the fruits with a replanting program ( like that of Camiguin that is now exporting Lanzones). You can start with an LOI to DENR to now contract NGOs to produce seedlings efficiently. Then cancel all non performing IFMA (Industrial Forest Management Agreements) to give way to new foreign and local investors interested in industrial tree and carbon farming. (This way your administration can now mitigate flooding and even conserve enough water to generate aquifers to also provide irrigation to uplands. Simply, the uplands are the best areas to produce.more food.
(Mr. Sonny Domingo is an advocate of Farmer Rights and BioFarming Systems to Conserve the Soils and Create Jobs in the Uplands to have Sustainable Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries)
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