Lee

More support to local food producers long-term solution to inflation — Lee

April 23, 2024 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 182 views

AGRI Party-list Rep. Wilbert T. Lee has said that the government should provide more support to farmers and fisherfolk to boost local production and effectively address inflation.

The Bicolano lawmaker underscored that local food producers deserve better services from the government which should be an enabler to achieve food security and cheaper basic commodities.

Lee made the statement after President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. issued Administrative Order (AO) No. 20 to streamline administrative procedures and policies on the importation of agricultural products and remove non-tariff barriers in a bid to secure food supply and alleviate rising domestic prices.

“Nauunawaan po natin ang layunin ng AO 20 para mapababa agad ang presyo ng bilihin at mabawasan ang pasanin ng ating mga consumers. Pero maituturing po natin itong short term solution. Nakikita po natin na long-term solution sa inflation ang dagdag na suporta sa ating mga local food producers na pakikinabangan ng taumbayan—mula sa ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda hanggang sa ating mga consumers,” he said.

“Hindi naman po tayo pwedeng maging import dependent habambuhay. Pabilisin man natin ang proseso ng importasyon, hindi natin makokontrol ang export policy ng ibang bansa na anytime pwedeng maghigpit, o magbago depende sa mga pangyayari tulad ng kalamidad o kaguluhan sa ibang mga bansa,” he added.

Inflation rate in the country rose to 3.7% in March from the previous month’s 3.4% with food inflation as the main contributor to the overall inflation.

The Bicolano lawmaker reiterated that the government must aggressively address factors contributing to food inflation to curb rising prices of basic goods.

“As our food security soldiers, let us demand better for our farmers and fisherfolk. Addressing their needs will help them boost their production that will result to lower food prices. Kung mapapababa ang presyo ng pagkain, lalo na ang bigas, mapapahupa natin ang overall inflation,” the solon stressed.

“Pabilisin natin ang paghahatid ng ayuda, na dapat on time dumarating sa kanila; bigyan ng access sa murang farm inputs; bigyan ng dagdag na post-harvest facilities na hindi kilo-kilometro ang requirements bago makuha; bilhin ng gobyerno ang palay sa mas mataas na presyo para masiguro ang kita ng mga lokal na magsasaka, at sugpuin ang talamak na agri-smuggling na pumapatay sa kabuhayan ng marami nating kababayan,” he added.

Lee also pointed out that importation should only come should the need arises and not be the sole solution to increasing domestic prices saying, “We haven’t even fully maximized efforts to boost our local productivity, yet we are always drawn to importation.”

“Pangmatagalang benepisyo ang hatid ng pagpapalakas sa lokal na produksyon. Walang talo, walang lugi, walang mapag-iiwanan, Winner Tayo Lahat,” Lee said.

“Sa dagdag na suporta para sa ating mga agri workers, mapapataas ang kanilang kita, mas makukumbinsi silang taasan ang kanilang produksyon, na magpapababa sa presyo ng bilihin, at makakaambag sa ating food security.

Sa paraang ito, mababawasan din ang pangamba ng ating mga kababayan sa kaliwa’t kanang gastusin, kasama na ang lalong pagkabaon sa utang kung may magkasakit sa pamilya dahil walang pantustos sa pagpapagamot,” he added.

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