Pangilinan: War in Ukraine underscores need for food self-sufficiency, security

February 28, 2022

SENATOR Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Monday said the ill effects of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine underscore the need for food security and self-sufficiency, and the imperative for the Philippines to depend on itself to feed its people.

“Tulad ng pandemya, sisirain o yayanigin din ng giyerang ito ang food supply chain. Kaya napakahalaga na meron tayong sapat na pagkain dito sa atin,” Pangilinan said.

“Kapag tinutulungan natin ang mga magsasaka at mangingisda na tumaas ang kanilang ani at huli, tinutulungan din natin ang ating mga sarili. At lalong lumilinaw ang puntong ito sa panahon ng krisis tulad ng pandemya at giyera sa Ukraine,” he added.

Pangilinan said that oil prices are expected to continue to spike in the coming days, noting analysts’ prediction that price per liter of gasoline may increase from P68 to P77 while the price of diesel may go up from P59 to P73.

“Dahil sa giyera ng Ukraine at Russia, tataas na naman ang presyo ng gasolina. Tumaas na nga ito nitong mga nakaraang linggo ngunit sure ball na mas lalo itong tataas,” Pangilinan said.

“At dahil malaking bahagi ng presyo ng pagkain ay ang transport cost, tataas na naman ang presyo ng pagkain,” he added.

Pangilinan reiterated his call for the government to suspend the collection of excise tax on fuel as this will immediately stop the rising cost of other basic needs like food and transport. He also called for the immediate distribution of fuel subsidies to food producers and public transport drivers.

“Panawagan natin ang agarang pag-suspinde sa koleksyon ng excise tax para kahit papano ay makatulong sa ating mga kababayan. Ibigay na rin agad ang subsidiya sa mga tsuper, magsasaka, at mangingisda,” Pangilinan said.

Prices of bread and flour-based products, meanwhile, are also likely to increase in price, according to reports. This, said Pangilinan, will hit close to home as many Filipinos are heavy carbohydrate eaters.

“Sa mga urban areas, noodles ang nagiging staple food dahil abot-kaya ito. Talagang kawawa ang mga kababayan natin kung pati ang presyo ng mga produktong ito ay tataas,” Pangilinan.

To address this, Pangilinan said it is urgent now more than ever to go renewable, own Malampaya, and live sustainably.

“Ganito kaimportante ang Malampaya. We missed the opportunity to own Malampaya in November 2021. Ibabalik natin ang Malampaya sa kamay ng mga Pilipino kapag nanalo ang Robredo-Pangilinan tandem,” Pangilinan said.

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