Pangilinan: Byahe ni Kiko highlights issues of hunger and food security in election campaign

February 17, 2022

BAGUIO CITY, FEB. 17 — Vice-presidential aspirant Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Thursday said that one of the goals of Byahe ni Kiko (BNK) is to shed light on the issues of hunger and food security, especially now that the national campaign is in full swing.

In a radio interview over Love Radio 95.1 in this city, the lawmaker shared that as an advocate for agriculture and food security, he will bring these issues to debates and fora.

The lawmaker will visit farming communities in Atok, Benguet to listen to local farmers and find out how his own Sagip Saka Act can be fine-tuned to raise their incomes and living standards.

“Mahalagang dalhin sa national debate ang usapin ng pagkain, agrikultura, farming at food security. Narito tayo para [sa] ating Byahe ni Kiko. Magkakaroon..ng dialogue at pakikipag-kapwa sa mga vegetable farmers dito sa Baguio upang malaman natin mismo sa kanila ang mga problema na kinakaharap nila bilang komunidad,” Pangilinan said.

“Sa Byahe ni Kiko we are bringing the issue of hunger and food security sa debate upang tayo ay makapili kung sino ang nararapat na iboto na makakabigay solusyon sa mga problemang ito,” he added.

Pangilinan, along with his running-mate presidential aspirant Leni Robredo, earlier vowed that should they be elected, they would tdouble the budget of the Department of Agriculture.

But more than doubling DA’s budget, Pangilinan believes that correct implementation of the law is key.

“Kapag dinoble natin ang budget ng Department of Agriculture, dapat triplehin naman iyong pagbabantay ng budget at ang siguraduhin na ang makikinabang ay ang ating mga farmers at fisherfolk sa pamamagitan ng crop insurance, post-harvest facilities, farm-to-market road, na talagang sila ang magiging sentro. At ang intervention ang dapat maging basehan ay paano madadagdagan ang kanilang kita,” he said.

“Tayo ay naniniwala na kapag ang farmers and fisherfolk ay binigyan ng suporta, dadami ang supply ng pagkain, bababa ang presyo ng pagkain sa palengke. Mawawala na ang gutom. Lahat tayo ay makikinabang. Goodbye Gutom na!” he added.

Pangilinan is no stranger to the smuggling problems that continue to beset farmers nationwide, including farmers in Benguet. As a former food security secretary, he has addressed this issue using the law.

“Nasolusyunan na natin iyan noong chairman ako ng NFA Council bilang food security secretary. Unang-una, habulin, i-suspinde, at sampahan ng kaso ang mga smugglers,” he said, saying that he became instrumental in suspending NFA officials from Regions 3, 5, 6, 9, and the National Capital Region as these officials were accomplice to the smuggling.

“Ganoon din dapat sa gulay. Binigay na iyong pangalan ng mga warehouses pero wala pa rin napaparusahan diyan sa isyu ng smuggling na yan. Ang problema kasi [may mga kasabwat na mga opisyal],” he added.

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