Pangilinan: Avert hunger crisis, buy directly, immediately release P500M fuel subsidy to farmers, fishers

March 1, 2022

VICE-PRESIDENTIAL aspirant Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Tuesday urged the government to immediately release the P500 million fuel subsidy in the 2022 budget to farmers and fisherfolk to prevent the rise in food prices.

“Maiiwasan ang mas malalang kagutuman kung aaksyon agad-agad ang gobyerno,” Pangilinan said.

Pangilinan also said the full implementation of his Sagip Saka Act would also help farmers and fishers cope with rising fuel, as well as rising fertilizer and feeds costs.

“Itong dalawang aksyon na ito – ang pagrelease ng fuel subsidy at ang buong implementasyon ng Sagip Saka – tutulong sa ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda na siguruhing may maaani at mahuhuli para sa ating lahat,” he said.

“Kailangan natin ng mabilis at mapagpasyang aksyon mula sa Executive department. Nandyan na ang pondo. Nandyan na ang batas. Kailangan na lang ng political will para pursigidong umaksyon,” he added.

Pangilinan also called for the convening of an interagency food security task force composed of the Departments of Agriculture (DA), Budget and Management (DBM), Social Work and Development (DSWD), Education (DepEd), Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Health (DoH) and begin the process of purchasing directly from farmers and fisherfolk while distributing fuel subsidies and discounts.

“Itong magkakambal na aksyon – subsidiya at pagtaas ng kita – ang tutulong para maibsan ang epekto ng pagtaas ng presyo ng krudo, pataba, at patuka (feeds),” said the former food security secretary.

“In the medium term these will also help prevent sharp increases in food prices considering the increased incomes and subsidies will keep our farmers and fishers focused on improved production,” he added.

“Kailangan natin ng isang Crisis Manager para maiwasan ang krisis sa gutom,” he said.

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