June 12, 2012
As the Philippines celebrates 114 years of independence, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan says that true independence comes from having a vibrant economy that creates access and opportunities for every Filipino, and frees them from the shackles of poverty.
“How we commemorate Independence Day as a people is an indication of how we take pride in being Filipino,” he says.
“Until we liberate our liberate our people from grinding poverty and underdevelopment, however, Independence Day celebrations will remain hollow. All sound and fury signifying very little.”
The senator, who chairs the Senate Committees on Agriculture and Food, and Social Justice and Rural Development, adds, “We must focus on establishing a robust, dynamic, and vibrant economy wherein jobs and wealth are created for the vast majority. This is the true road to independence for every Filipino.”
In early 2012, Pangilinan, together with the Department of Agriculture and the Congressional Oversight Committee for Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization (COCAFM), launched Sagip Saka, an advocacy program that aims to increase the productivity and incomes of farmers, as well as modernize agriculture, through access to credit, markets, research and technology, infrastructure, and organizing.