In his Facebook post recently, Manny Pinol laments that none of the major news networks reported what Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said during his DZMM interview about making food available & affordable to ordinary Filipinos.
It can be recalled during the DZMM interview, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said that one of the major tasks of the next leader of the country is to make food available and affordable for the 110 million Filipinos.
Sadly, the former Governor noted that the mainstream media were having a field day reporting the position of Duterte on issues such as same-sex marriage, the Libingan ng mga Bayani burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos and Duterte’s popular one-liners describing other political personalities in the country.
Was it a deliberate attempt to keep the ordinary Filipinos in the dark on Duterte’s profound understanding of the country’s food security issue and the problems hounding the agriculture sector?
Probably yes. Mayor Duterte, according to former Governor Pinol is the only Presidential candidate “who understands agriculture and food production in relation to the buying capacity of the ordinary Filipino workers.”
Mayor Duterte, according to Manny Pinol, holds the answer to the woes of every Juan which is the high prices of food in the country.
Former Governor Manny Pinol wrote that he never heard Binay say anything about agriculture and food production except that the VP raised hogs as a young boy. And of course, he said, VP Binay talks about free Wi-Fi rather than low cost food.
How about Grace Poe? The former Governor noted that the good Senator, in the three years that she has been in the Senate has not introduced any bill related to agriculture or food production. He said, he is not even sure if she knows the difference between a ewe and a doe.
And Mar Roxas? The former governor wrote that although the family of the mother of Roxas owns a sugar mill in Ma-ao, Negros Occidental, the governor refuses to believe Mar knows what a “put-down” is or realizes that most of the sugar plantation workers only receive a little over P100 a day.
The former Governor of North Cotabato, a close confidante of the Davao City Mayor, is one of the few people who could boast that he already picked Mayor Duterte’s brain during their long year of friendship
That being said, he shares the insights of Mayor Duterte on what ills the agriculture sector of the country that contributes to the high cost of food production.
HIGH COST OF PRODUCING FOOD
The cost fertilizers and farm inputs in the Philippines is one of the highest in the world. But here’s a fact that we farmers don’t know – the farmers pay irrigation fees to the National Irrigation Administration for using water. Allegedly, the farmers are paying for the salaries of NIA employees.
HIGH COST OF TRANSPORTING FARM PRODUCE TO THE CITIES
Have you ever tried buying vegetables in Baguio City? It’s cheap, right? But when buying the same vegetables in Metro Manila, the prices go steep. Simply because the cost of transporting the goods to the cities is passed on to the consumers. And since we have bad roads and poor facilities, this could result to the high percentage of damaged vegetables; the businessman would again pass on the losses to the consumers. Just do the math and you will know why we are screwed.
FARMING IN THE PHILIPPINES IS A GUESSING GAME
Allegedly, the farmers received no guidance from the concerned government agency when it comes to planting.
Perhaps if you are new to farming, you may visit the Office of the Department of Agriculture and ask a technician on your concern. But isn’t it easier if you just give them a call or text and one of their technicians will do a field visit? Gives you a crash course on farming? And what plant works perfectly for your soil?
If this is the kind of service our government provides to farmers, the days of expensive experimentation of farmers will be long gone.
FAILURE OF THE GOVERNMENT TO TAP THE PRODUCTION POTENTIAL OF EVERY FILIPINO FARMING FAMILIES
If only the government knows how to maximize the full potential of the Filipino farming families, our country, according to Governor Pinol can easily produce what the country needs like chickens, pork, garlic and onion. Sadly, he said, the Department of Agriculture have allowed this to happen because they can easily make tons of money by issuing importation permits to shrewd businessmen.
Let me cite the example of Cuba. After the United States imposed an economic embargo, the people of Cuba suffered from food shortage as a result of the embargo. But because they refused to be defeated, they have turned to agriculture and become good at it with the guidance of the communist government. Check out this link here.
THE GOVERNMENT FAILED TO COME UP WITH A SPECIFIC LIST PINPOINTING BASIC FOOD COMMODITIES OF FILIPINOS
The government should have come up with a list that identifies basic food commodities of Filipino families. According to Governor Pinol, this is a monumental blunder. By failing to identify specific regions where this basic food commodities can be grown or raised according to the soil characteristics and climate appropriate for each food commodity, we have become an inefficient food producing country.
If you ask why food is very expensive in the Philippines, the five factors cited by Manny Pinol which Mayor Duterte shares the same sentiment are the main culprits.
If you are a WISE voter, you should know by now that there is one Presidential candidate that understands how screwed up we are in food production and how to solve this monumental problem. Guess who? Share if you know the answer!
Source: Manny Pinol