Manila Standard Today
June 21, 2011
SENATOR Francis Pangilinan on Tuesday called on the government to reconsider its plan to sell the Food Terminal Inc. complex in Taguig, urging it to find ways to ensure food supply flowing to the metropolis instead.
“The goal of the FTI was to have a food terminal where farmers can drop off their produce so as to bypass the middlemen and allow them to go direct to the market. The biggest market locally is Metro Manila, and direct access to that market would mean better prices for the consumer and higher incomes for a sector that remains poor,” Pangilinan said in a statement. “Let’s zero in on increasing the farmers’ incomes. If we secure our farmers and fisherfolk, we achieve food security.”
The 120-hectare property was expected to generate at least P13 billion from its sale but so far, there were no takers.
Pangilinan argued that the planned sale of the FTI began a few years back, “before the spectre of spiraling world food prices hit us in 2008.” He urged the administration to rethink its policy given serious major developments in food security requirements.
Pangilinan said that if the objective of the sale is to boost the agricultural sector, then proceeds should be used to strengthen the capability of FTI in its role of providing access to markets.
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