Isko: Support PH farmers

February 18, 2022 Marlon Purification 104 views

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union — Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Thursday vowed that if elected president, his administration will provide full support and protection to Filipino farmers from the country’s so-called “food basket” to uplift their lives and ensure that there is food on the table of every Filipino family.

Moreno made the assurance in a media interview at the provincial capitol building in San Fernando, La Union following a courtesy call with Governor Francisco Emmanuel Ortega III as Team Isko embarked on a motorcade around the Ilocos Region province.

“Isa sa mga nakakalungkot na nangyayari sa Northern Luzon and Central Luzon is yung mga pananim ng gulay niyo is unti-unting nawawala. Tignan mo yung bawang, iba na, at marami ng nawawala dala ng importation nung mga Taiwan garlic at garlic sa China. Central Luzon, umiiiyak ngayon ang ating magsisibuyas, dahil baha ang imported na sibuyas, dahil pinayagan natin,” the Aksyon Demokratiko presidential candidate pointed out.

“Ngayon yung bigas, di pa tumataas pero tataas, pero yung presyo ng palay, hindi tumataas. So, itong lugar na ito, Northern Luzon and Central Luzon, which is the food basket ng ating bansa, is greatly affected of negligence on the part of agencies of government by not protecting their crops, particularly sa panahon ng pag-ani,” said Moreno.

The 47-year-old presidential aspirant said that given the chance, among the first policies he would institute to protect farmers is to issue clear guidelines on the strict importation of agricultural products to make sure that local producers can sell their products first before importation is made; and clamp down on smuggling of agriculture products to protect the interests of local producers.

“In our case, someday, basta yang mga smuggler, yung mga importer na yan, sasawatin ko as a matter of protection to our farmers. Importation should be buffer, not the main reason for us to feed our people,” Moreno stressed.

Furthermore, he vowed that government will see to it that the cost of agricultural production will be brought down to ensure farmers of their income.

“Second, I will see to it, and I will make sure, in my own little way, all the powers bilang isang pangulo ng ating bansa, na ma-monitor, maayos ang presyo ng abono. Kaya mapapansin mo ngayon, maraming magsasaka ang hindi makapagtanim. Ang mura ng bi ng palay, di ba? Ang mahal ng abono. So lumalabas abonado talaga sila,” Moreno said.

To further ensure farmers of their income, a Moreno administration will also buy the surplus produce of farmers at the right price.

“So, these are the things, in my own little way, mabigyan ako ng pagkakataon, taongbayan. We will arrest and address this bad situation of neglect,” he said.

Agriculture is one of the main pillars of Moreno’s 10-point Bilis Kilos Economic Agenda, which will be his administration’s guiding principles to accelerate human and economic growth if elected president.

Moreno aims to raise the income of farmers to the level of average Filipino workers by also providing them with risk-free capitals; building more irrigation systems while improving the efficiency of existing ones; and establishing the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, among others.

Likewise, government will lead the effort for farmers to adopt new technologies to increase their productivity, and establish post-harvest facilities and cold storage facilities across the country and in major production areas.

It will also invest in strengthening agriculture schools and institutions, including its teachers and professors, and ensure that the product of these institutions will directly benefit Filipino farmers.

In the meantime, Moreno took the opportunity to thank Governor Ortega, as well as the mayors, for welcoming Team Isko and giving them the opportunity to campaign in the province.

“Nagpapasalamat kami sa ating governor, at mga mayors dito sa probinsya, sa mainit na pagtanggap sa amin.. na makaikot kami in as many places as possible, makakamay kami, makakaway kami, abutin namin sila,” he said.

Despite Region I as a known bailiwick of his rival, former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., he said he will strive hard to visit as many towns of the province as much as possible, and other provinces of the region in due time, to give Ilocanos an “alternative candidate.”

“Ang sabi nga nila, ang bulalo man, kahit anong tigas, basta’t lagi mong babagaan, lalambot din ito. Yun ang natutunan ko sa buhay sa dami ng hirap na dinanas ko, na magpursige ka sa buhay. Kung gusto mong may makamit ka, pagsikapan mo. We will try to be in places like in Northern Luzon and Southern Luzon, wherein may kandidato rin naman silang presidente sa mga lugar na yon. And we will also be in Mindanao after this,” he said.

“Tsaka masaya na akong makakuha ng konting boto sa lugar na ito. Bawat boto mahalaga. Sana sa mga Ilocano sa Northern Luzon, pahingi naman po ng inyong konting boto. Kahit kaunti, pandagdag din,” Moreno said.

And he hopes that his perseverance to reach out to every Filipino to preach his clear platforms and programs that are based on real achievements will, by God’s grace, gradually win the support of the people as the campaign goes on.

“Sana mapusuan nila ako, katulad ng hinihilingi ko sa mga kababayan natin dito. Kaya nagsisikap naman ako talaga. It’s been 10 days, hindi pa kami natigil, awa ng Diyos. Masakit sa katawan, pero sabi nga, ang nagsisikap, may aanihin. Sana anihin ko yung puso at damdamin at paniwala ng bawat Pilipino,” said Moreno, a former basurero who became Manila councilor at age 23, Manila vice mayor at age 32 and Manila mayor at age 44.