Pangilinan to govt: Ensure stable local food prices for Christmas as world marks 10-year high food prices in Nov

AS WORLD food prices marked a 10-year high in November and as Christmas season tends to raise food prices as well, Senator “Kiko” Pangilinan on Saturday (December 4) challenged all government agencies to prevent increases in food prices and ensure that food supplies are stable.

“Nananawagan ako sa mga ahensya ng gobyerno na pag-ibayuhin ang pagmomonitor ng mga presyo ng bilihin at mapanatili ito sa tamang level. Ang pagtaas ng presyo ng mga pagkain sa international market sa buwan ng Nobyembre ang pinakamataas sa nakaraang 10 taon,” he said.

Pangilinan was able to bring down rice prices during his stint as food security secretary by a combination of proper law enforcement and an open, transparent, and kickback-free importation.

“Sinuspinde natin ang lisensya ng mga nagsasamantalang traders. Kinasuhan natin sila at mga kasabwat nilang NFA managers sa NCR, Regions 3, 5, 8, at 9,” he said. As food security secretary, he headed the National Food Authority Council.

Pangilinan said that government must also curb what has become seasonal increases in food prices during the Christmas holidays.

“Bagamat seasonal na tumataas ang presyo ng mga lokal na pagkain dahil sa pagtaas ng demand tuwing Kapaskuhan, nakikiusap tayo sa ilan na huwag samantalahin ang pagsipa sa international market ng presyo ng mga pagkain,” Pangilinan said.

“Dasal ko sa darating na Kapaskuhan ay maibsan ang gutom at hirap ng mga pamilyang Pilipino. Sana ay mabawasan nang malaki ang 95 na Pilipino na namamatay kada araw dahil sa malnutrisyon at gutom” he added.

Pangilinan said the Team Robredo-Pangilinan, in its Kalayaan sa Covid plan, would focus on the agriculture and fisheries sector.

“Vice President Leni Robredo has pledged that she will double the budget for the agriculture sector in her first year in office. That promise translates to P116 billion for the agriculture and fisheries sector in her first year alone. Currently, the agriculture sector has only 1.7 percent of the national budget,” he said.

“A stable and adequate agricultural harvest and fisheries sector’s catch is crucial to ensure that food supply in the country will not be disrupted. A stable and adequate agricultural harvest and fisheries sector’s catch is key to the food security of the entire nation,” he added.

Pangilinan reiterated that Team Robredo-Pangilinan would focus on ensuring that no Filipino will go hungry.

“Para masiguro ang steady supply ng pagkain, kailangang isulong ang interes ng mga magsasaka at mangingisda. Yan dapat ang prayoridad natin bilang bansa,” he said.

“Magkakabit ang seguridad sa pagkain at pambansang seguridad. Walang seguridad ang bansa kung gutom ang mamamayan. Gusto natin busog at malusog na pamilyang Pilipino,” he added.


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