Pangilinan to use his experience as food security secretary to lower food prices

February 7, 2022

SENATOR Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Monday said he will take a page from his experience as food security secretary to lower food prices should he be elected as the second highest sitting official of the land.

Pangilinan mentioned this in various radio interviews today ahead of the Robredo-Pangilinan campaign kickoff in Bicol tomorrow.

“Gagamitin natin ang ating experience bilang food security secretary at kung paano natin napababa ang presyo ng bigas noon,” Pangilinan said, citing the cost of rice during his time as food security chief only ranges from P27 to P32 per kilo, a far-cry from the current market price of P41 per kilo.

“Ang tutukan natin ay ang food security, itong gutom, by supporting our farmers and fisherfolk because they are the ones who feed us,” he added.

The vice presidential aspirant underscored the need to support farmers and fishermen by creating mechanisms that will be beneficial to these sectors, including doubling the budget of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and creating the Department of Fisheries to focus on the problems of fisherfolk.

According to Pangilinan, he already proposed these to Vice President Leni Robredo, who gave her positive feedback. In previous interviews, Robredo said that should she be elected President, she will double DA’s budget.

“Ang maganda sa amin ni magiging Pangulong Leni, iisa ang aming prinsipyo sa pamamahala at pamumuno — inuuna iyong mga nasa laylayan. Ang ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda ay huling-huli na kaya kailangan talagang balikan, suportahan, at alalayan,” Pangilinan said.

“Kaya suportado natin na matatag ang Department of Fisheries at madoble ang budget ng agrikultura. Hindi lang doble ang budget kundi triple din ang pagbabantay na hindi ninanakaw ang pondo at siguraduhing direktang mapunta sa mga magsasaka at mangingisda,” he added.

Pangilinan, meanwhile, blamed the continuing spike in food prices to problems that continue to beset the Filipino people, including undernutrition and malnutrition.

Due to this recurring problem on food, Pangilinan saw this as an opportunity to launch “Byahe ni Kiko”, which hit the road on Sunday.

“Ang Byahe ni Kiko ang magiging kontribusyon natin bilang ka-tandem ni magiging Pangulong Leni [Robredo]. Iyong usapin ng food security at pagtugon sa gutom at pagsuporta sa mga magsasaka at mangingisda ang bitbit ng byahe na ito dahil kinikilala natin ang kahalagahan ng mga sektor na ito upang magkaroon tayo ng malusog na komunidad,” Pangilinan said.

“Lahat tayo apektado ng napakataas na presyo ng bilihin. Ang ating mga anak ay stunting. Ibig sabihin kulang ang timbang, kulang ang tangkad dahil kulang ang pagkain. Ang ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda, kulang ang ani dahil walang suporta. Kapag sinuportahan ang magsasaka’t mangingisda, dadami ang kanilang ani at huli,” he added.

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