MANOLO FORTICH, Bukidnon — Vice-presidential candidate Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan barnstormed in Northern Mindanao Friday asking local candidates to fully implement his Sagip Saka Act should they win in the elections so that no Filipino will go hungry.
At his first stop at the Kampo Juan of Bukidnon First District congressional candidate Nereus Acosta, Pangilinan said that like air, food is a right that everyone is entitled to.
“Karapatan ang pagkain. Tulad ng hangin, hindi ka pwede mabuhay kung wala nito,” he said.
Pangilinan explained that hunger is prevalent in the Philippines because food prices are high.
His Sagip Saka Law, he said, mandates local and national governments to buy directly from local farmers and fishers, ensuring the latter’s income.
He said that this will encourage farmers and fishers to plant and fish more.
“With more supply, prices will drop. Kaya hello pagkain, goodbye gutom na,” he told a crowd of farmers, young people, and other professionals.
Pangilinan said that government has a budget of about P70 billion to P80 billion to spend on food.
“Ngayon, binibili yan sa mga trader…Paano nga naman bibili sa magsasaka na walang business permit or BIR TIN? Pero ngayon, sa Sagip Saka, pwede na halimbawa bumili ang provincial government para sa food requirements ng provincial jail at provincial hospital,” he said.
Acosta, who represented the congressional district in the House of Representatives from 1998 to 2007, is seeking a comeback while his mother Socorro seeks to return as mayor of Manolo Fortich.
Pangilinan is the running-mate of presidential aspirant Leni Robredo, who recently has been endorsed by several Mindanao political leaders.